The LegionLites™ app is a mobile application for managing home and outdoors illumination. The app supports the creation of different modes, brightness, colors, and applies other visual effects on a garland – whether individually or as a group – via Wi-Fi. This technology can be used for managing lighting on a Christmas tree as well as for storefronts decoration and street lighting on the trees and buildings.
Our development team managed to create Firmware for garland controller. The former is able to exchange information with the user’s mobile app. The app may, in turn, send information to a cloud-based server. This interconnection should play a significant role in bringing garland users together.
The Firmware supports connection over the TCP/IP layer which is able to work with garland’s data including the animation’s type, speed, brightness, colors within animations and so on.
It works with special garlands and D9864B chip. The chip supports different RGB colors which are addressed by the numbers from 1 to 255. Each lamp has its own unique address, making it possible for the Firmware to communicate with each of them separately.
The Firmware is able to broadcast its data into external Access Points and can be used to find a particular garland within a specified network.
Data is sent to each lamp by voltage dips in pin during specific delay. Within a firmware, this operation is handled by “digitalWrite” function.
The applications were built using the following technologies:
Legion Lites founder is a manufacturer of garlands who wanted to create a white-label illumination management application. He needed a tech partner with a diverse skillset to develop native iOS and Android apps and to program the controllers. That’s when Itexus came in, accompanying the project from a concept to the fully functional product.
The client approached us with an app idea which we had elaborated during the Discovery phase. Our team conducted an in-depth research including tech risks analysis. The outcome of this effort was the preparation of the end-to-end project documentation. It included:
Document describing all functional requirements with use cases, diagrams, user screen mockups, user journey etc.
Document describing suggested technology and architecture of the system, security, performance, reliability etc.
Detailed project plan with all work broken down into 8-16 hours tasks, with priorities, dependencies, and team structure.
The next step was to create the UI/UX layout for iOS and Android. We designed the apps with iOS Human Interface Guidelines and Google Material Design Guidelines in mind.
The work was organized using the Agile development model and Scrum framework. We split the development into 2-week sprints with a presentation of the new features at the end of each stage. Unified QA team was assigned to the project from the very beginning. The client communicated with the team in Slack and Skype, we also used Git as a code repository.
The development of the calibration algorithm was the most challenging part of the project and required an oscillograph for tuning the garland. Our engineers created a new way of calibration that made it accurate and precise. No matter how the garland is positioned, effects such as a “falling rain” will appear correctly from top to bottom.
We also needed to customize the controller to fit the project needs taking into account the limitations of the software. Our engineers wrote a bespoke soft for the controller in Arduino to program it to process the requests from the mobile app.
Fun fact: 5 garlands have been destroyed in the process.
The project took 4 months to implement with the team of 7 people:
Total efforts: 6 man-months.