All Things CC:

All things Commuication & Computing….

The Power of Three

leave a comment »

There was a time when building a technology product and its functionality was largely contained into itself – ing was an island was perfectly fine. This was true of both enterprise and consumer products. A Set Top Box (STB) had no need for interactive functionality least of all a “companion application”, or a Thermostat in the house was manually operated. The rise of smartphones, increasing connectedness have changed that. The paradigm has changed. When products are designed and developed – it is no longer just about the hardware & software of the product you are building – it is equally important to design interactivity with a smartphone or tablet application and tying the functionality of the product with cloud services. And as I outlined in one of my previous posts – my re-engagement with programming & development would be at the “intersection” of the three elements:
1. Technology Product
2. Smartphone | Tablet Application
3. Cloud Services


This is what I mean by the title – to deliver the best product experien
ce – the product strategy and planning has to be done keeping the three elements in mind – to bring together the  Power of Three. The challenge I had was wh
ere to get started because each of these areas offers attractive options. I had to filter them – and the primary one was that I wanted to make sure that it did not impede or conflict with my day job. So when I started about three months ago I had to stick to products, technologies that are available to mostly anybody and available openly without requiring any NDA. And here are the choices I made:
1. To use a proxy for the ‘technology product’ – instead of choosing a STB or a Gateway (and I have tons of product management experience in both) – I chose an embedded Linux-based device or server – a Plug Computer. It supports an ARM version of Debian or Ubuntu. And for creating applications on the Plug – I chose to go with OSGi running on open so
urce JVM.
2. The choice for Smartphone or Tablet applications was fairly easy – I chose IOS. And I specifically wanted to focus on programming with the large real estate screen of the iPad. Down the line I may expand this to support two more options – Android Smartphones and GoogleTV…
For Cloud Services – I have two choices Google App Engine or Amazon Web Services – but that the choice is still open…
Let me quickly talk about the application I have in mind though or rather what functionality I want to implement. I am going to write basic code on the Plug Computer that would support a network interface to collect data, diagnostics from the Plug by the IOS App. The code not the Plug would be (or is begin developed) using OSGi/JVM. I intend to incorporate addition to diagnostics, use the Plug to connect to some basic sensors such as Accelerometers or Zigbee Switches and using the network API to communicate the data/events gathered to both the IOS app and the Cloud. As I write this I have made good progress on the initial stuff so far and my subsequent posts would talk about them. But I do have a long way to go, and I am looking forward to it….
[Note: Attached a couple of sketches to illustrate my concepts using the great new Paper App for iPad.]


Written by Ashu Joshi

April 2, 2012 at 11:15 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: