Building The Next Generation Wearable Product
The customer came to us with a strong vision of an absolutely new and unique suite of new generation wearable devices.
First Line participated in a very exciting project for an international wearable tech startup led by some of the industry’s most experienced technologists and visionaries.
A wearable electronic device alone, no matter how cool and cutting edge, is not sufficient for success on its own. It needs to be brought to market packaged with mobile apps, web applications, and the cloud. The cloud backend is crucial: since on-device computations are costly from the power consumption standpoint, all the processing needs to take place on the backend. The connected device continuously streams data from its sensors (accelerometers, heart rate sensors, light sensors, etc.) either to the mobile app, which transmits it further into the cloud for processing via Bluetooth Low Energy, or to the cloud backend directly via 3G/4G or Wi-Fi. It is there that the data is analyzed, visualized and presented to the users in the most compelling way, incentivizing them to change or improve their lives, driven by their new “quantified self” awareness. Integration with social media is conducive to the creation of communities of like-minded individuals and helps build support systems for users with similar objectives. Through gamification, users are motivated to share their data, compare their progress, compete, and meet their goals.
First Line’s Solution
The customer came to us with a strong vision of an absolutely new and unique suite of new generation wearable devices. At the start of the engagement, First Line’s analysts and consultants worked closely with the client’s globally distributed team to translate the product vision into a manageable, comprehensive product backlog of specific features and functionality that could be delivered on the available budget and using feasible technologies. By estimating the numerous features envisioned by the client’s tech and design teams, we made it possible to start putting concrete dollar numbers on the “wishlist”, prioritize the feature list, and accelerate the process of getting to an MVP (minimum viable product).
The project spans multiple technologies: hardware, including technical design and power consumption; three mobile platforms; the web application; on-device software; backend; and numerous external integrations with other devices and applications. First Line assembled a cross-functional team that included experts in hardware, MEMS (microelectromechanical systems, e.g. accelerometers), embedded software, web development, big data, mobile development and UX design. We also came up with the work process to gradually add features and enhance the product incrementally over time, across all of its components, in sync.
When it comes to the mobile applications, their key feature is obviously the user interface. Our mobile application designers worked closely with the client’s team to translate their vision into actual screens that are easy to read, move across, and use; in other words, we helped translate the existing design assets into a workable, compelling and intuitive mobile UI.
One of the main challenges has to do with handling a very high volume of user data (such as biotelemetry) streaming from the device to the cloud backend. Built with millions of users in mind, the system needs to be able to capture and store many thousands of terabytes as it acquires new users over time. First Line’s experts designed a lightning fast solution driven by in-memory Redis for operational data capture, and CouchDB for persistent storage. This open source stack is capable of extremely high performance even when run on inexpensive hardware, and is easily scaled. The server architecture includes regional datacenters around the globe. Based on the user’s geographic location, the device data is streamed to the closest available physical server for optimal performance.
So, we are part of bringing a new product to life, a set of innovative wearable devices coupled with engaging mobile apps and a compelling web application with rich data visualization and advanced analytics. First Line is acting as a full-service technology partner, helping the customer get from a fascinating, innovative vision to a tangible, functioning product in hand.
Team size: 25
Total effort: 400 person-months
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I want to express my gratitude for all of your team’s hard work and support over the last few months. Our project is officially live and we could not have done it without your assistance. I especially would like to thank Alex for his extra help this weekend. I understand it was at the last minute and late nights for him. We are very grateful for all that he has done for us.Senior Project Manager, the US software development company
Your quality of work is exceptional, and your flexible approach has allowed us to build and deploy a large amount of complex functionality in a very short space of time. Kudos to everyone for their professionalism and for delivering results that exceeded our expectations.CEO, leading social media analytics provider
We have never had a better release that we can think of. And that is all because of your hard and dedicated work. So here is a big THANK YOU to everyone from all of us!Editor, leading Scandinavian newspaper
For a software vendor like ourselves, picking the right development partner is crucial. First Line’s technical expertise and solid project management, coupled with their proficiency in Agile methodologies, have made them an integral part of our product development group.VP Product Development, leading enterprise software vendor
Our First Line Team has been doing a great job. All of the guys check in great code, and they have a forward thinking mindset, not a feature-to-feature approach. They are also very open in terms of sharing knowledge, which is critical to running productive distributed teams.Application Development Director, global marketing company
We've all learned a lot from you, and it is great working with you.Application Development Director, global marketing company
The First Line team has an excellent process and we can learn from your team and improve.Product Owner, Strategic Software Consultancy
I would like to thank the First Line development team for their dedication and high level of quality in their work. Despite being thousands of miles apart, we have been able to work quickly, effectively, and intelligently. Your team has been a major part of why we have been successful thus far.VP Engineering, e-learning startup
First Line is a great technology partner capable of delivering complex, ‘industrial grade’ projects. They have demonstrated strong technical competence and solid understanding of the media and publishing domain. We have also been very impressed by the management team's attention to our needs and commitment to our success.CEO, leading European digital media company
Your effort is the #1 reason that this project is going so well. I've worked with a lot of teams over the years and there are very few teams that I trust and respect. When you are given a task or feature, I never have to worry whether or not it will be accomplished on time and I never worry about the quality - you always deliver.Architect, Strategic Software Consultancy
The team we put together in the last half of this year is one of the most productive, skilled and enjoyable I’ve ever worked on. It’s great to see the product brought to life, and I’m proud to work with all you folks.Senior Architect, Fortune 100 company
The First Line Software team is professional, results driven, and proactive. I know that when we provide requirements for new functionality, they will not only deliver on the scope of what has been asked but will look beyond and give insight into how we can make our product even better. It has been a privilege to work with First Line Software, and I look forward to continuing our partnership in future.VP, global marketing company
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