Case Studies

Case Studies

The mobile phone is the most probable item we now carry all of the time. For our London based start-up client an opportunity arose, backed by major investors, to provide a secure battery charging solution for phones, MP3 players and PDAs for use in public places such as airports, gyms, cafes and hotels.

Our first brief was to provide a simple control board that allowed for coin operated access to a secure charging compartment within their power vending machine. Having completed some in-situ trials with this arrangement the concept was proven and further enhancements were required.

It soon became clear to our client that remote access was a necessity. We chose a Telit GSM862 module which offered Quad band GPRS and Python script for expandability. Working with a major metal cabinet manufacturer we developed a menu driven, real-time clock control board with an STR7 32-bit microcontroller with a USB interface. This could log each event, giving valuable information on user preferences and activity.

We now understood the technical merits of SMS messaging for both reporting of the machines log files back to a website, and also of consumers being able to use a text message in place of a coin for operating the equipment.

With several countries now using the equipment, we are developing Python script to host a mini website within each unit so that set-up data can be sent by FTP to each machine, together with a full firmware update if required.

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