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Thing-it: IoT Platform for business processes and task management

SmartexLab collaborated with a German startup to create an end-to-end solution that unifies all business systems, processes, and data under a single IoT platform.

Vertical

  • IoT

DURATION

  • 1.5+ years

Engagement model

  • Dedicated development center

Tech Stack

  • Angular
  • Angular Material
  • Cordova
  • Node.js

Key features and highlights

Mobile UI/UX

  • Mobile Apps

New designs and functionality for the platform’s iOS and Android apps with configurable styles and layouts in line with a user’s corporate identity.

  • User Geolocation Support

The features to define a user’s location and apply related settings accordingly, such as the date and time formats and the language (English, German, Russian).

  • Event Management

A calendar for creating and tracking users’ events, with the ability for the owner to invite other people.

  • Booking

This feature allows the user to choose any asset or place and book it, placing the event in the calendar.

  • Communication Functionality

This feature lets users communicate with each other with the help of groups, channels and private messages.

  • Wiki

This feature lets users view and manage information within each mesh.

  • Mobile diagnostic

User is provided with the diagnostic info on different services such as Location, Bluetooth, and Internet Connection.

  • Location notifications info

The app has the ability to listen to nearby beacons which may contain specific location info (wiki, process etc.).

  • Caching

In order to improve user experience and performance of the app, main images, icons, fonts are cached, as well as main data entities (which are also periodically retrieved from the server side).

 

IoT plugins

  • Disruptive technologies

Proximity, Touch and Temperature sensors — options for sensors to start both as a master, and as a slave.

  • Philips Devices

Light control and occupancy sensors — logic drafts (API calls, XMPP events stream logic).

  • BACnet Devices

Different configurations of Light, Thermostat and Jalousie controls, Virtual BACnet devices communication (connecting with different devices running on the same IP and port). Sharing one port for several devices on the Thing-it side restarts optimization. BACnet device simulator, BACnet events subscription auto-disabling (workaround for unexpected crashes/stops). Status check logic for complex actors. Logic sharing and reusing for several devices (via redux).

  • Communication protocol for BLE

Implemented communication protocol for BLE Bluetooth Low Energy – device ECO Side Lock 7010.

  • AMX devices

HVAC, light, media and room controls.

  • Enocean IP-connected devices

Switch, occupancy sensor, power outlet/plug, temperature sensor.

  • Wtec device

 

Technical highlights

  • The architecture was tuned for dynamic content creation and visualization.
  • The architecture was set up on the client’s side to change UI (color palette, font, font size, alignment etc), depending on the client’s styles and data caching.
  • A modular architecture was set up to reduce complexity, simplify maintenance and increase the platform’s scalability.
  • The Redux library was introduced to ease the state management pains of such a large application.
  • The platform and the mobile app were ported from AngularJS to the more advanced Angular 2 and later Angular 7.

Business challenge

The client wanted to create a robust platform for building IoT networks with an extensive set of functions.

Taking the existing IoT platform, the startup’s team decided to upgrade it to suit more industries, including healthcare, agriculture, energy and hospitality.

Thing-it was searching globally for a UI and frontend development team with a good grasp of UX/UI trends. SmartexLab implemented a pilot task on the design and migration of their legacy application to a new technological base and won the contract.

Delivered solution

SmartexLab developed business logic and implemented a UX/UI suit for four core business modules of the IoT platform: mobile app, plugins, user geolocation, and event management.

After proving our expertise in creating a stunning mobile UI the client tasked us with working on the other parts of the platform, including IoT.

Project results

SmartexLab gave a complete UX/UI overhaul to the mobile app, introducing architecture improvements along the way.

While our mobile team continued to add new features to the product we dedicated another team to work on IoT, building plugins for a variety of controls and sensors outlined above. Currently, both our teams total 7 full-time engineers each.

The platform powers multiple smart buildings including Cube Berlin, Europe’s smartest multi-tenant office building.

The startup raised a 7-figure amount, is growing fast, and expanding cooperation with SmartexLab.

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