We regularly support clients in the development of iOS and Android apps for device control using Bluetooth Low Energy.

Here is an example: the task was to control the electronics installed in the seat via an app. The electronics consist of a PLC created by the customer with microcontrollers.

Our ideal client are specialists in their field: we provide mobile technology as app experts

As a leading system provider, our customer manufactures control electrics and electronics for construction machinery, construction cranes, ships and agricultural machinery, with a long tradition as a Swabian engineering company with the well-known quality "Made in Germany". Every machine operator in Europe can use these joysticks, foot pedals, control columns and handles to operate the machine safely and without fatigue.

App development according to customer requirements

Our app for Apple iOS and Google Android enables crane or large excavator operators to set their optimal seating position through the app, rather than the mechanical control panel. Additionally, it offers multi-user management, protection against unauthorised access, and further personalisation options. The app's automatic adaptation to future device parameters is an exceptional feature. It eliminates the need for our customer to develop a new app every time new smartphones with different display ratios are released. The app adapts automatically using a sophisticated script when new device configurations are launched on the market, resulting in significant cost savings.The app is a minimal viable product (MVP) that demonstrates our capabilities to our mechanical engineering customer. We completed it with an A+ grade.

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The implementation and technology is simple - for us, that is:

From requirements specification to functional specification

The customer's development team requested a review of the specifications, and we confidently added the necessary technological requirements for Bluetooth Low Energy. We programmed the Bluetooth protocols and profiles, specifically using GATT, ensuring that the specifications were met. Our support in this area sets us apart from other service providers, as we understand the importance of meeting these requirements.

Technology of choice

After analyzing the technological parameters, we confidently recommended a cross-platform solution using Ionic/Angular as the most cost-effective option. We considered other possibilities such as native development, React Native, and Microsoft's Xamarin (now renamed .Net Maui).

UX and UI

We confidently designed the user experience (UX) for this area with a minimalist interface. Based on the final specifications, we required a usability review. We considered the fact that crane operators wear gloves and have limited visibility due to dirty safety goggles. 

Development and implementation phases

The development and implementation phases were carried out in close contact with the customer's project manager. As expected, further change requests were made by the customer, amounting to 10-15% of the previously agreed volume - which is perfectly normal.

Safeguarding through state-of-the-art quality assurance

In the final phase (quality assurance), the apps (and reference hardware, which is always a surprise to the customer's development engineers because we find undiscovered bugs at the customer's premises) are tested for functionality and specification compliance against all currently available iOS and Android versions and the pre-agreed reference smartphones and tablets.

The future

The app is now ready for the market. Our customer will implement each control centre on the app control system and then offer the app as an optional service. The next steps for the app itself are already being planned, as everyone's talking about predictive maintenance and customer retention through services via the mobile first strategy.

Stay tuned.

A mobile application for motorised seat adjustment at control stations using Bluetooth Low Energy