From the physical object to the connected project! Why ? How? 'Or' What ?
Here at Playmoweb , we are regularly confronted with the problem of transforming a “physical object” into it services and solutions (IoT). The physical object can be diverse and varied, from the USB camera to the printer, including software not designed to operate in API (WebService) mode.
The simple case ... the printer
As part of the Happy Borne project , we had to transform a DNP brand photo printer into an iPad compatible printer. Our first instinct was to use AirPrint via a Raspberry Pi specially configured by us. However, this solution quickly showed its limits, mainly because of the particular operation of the thermal printer (format and automatic cutting system).
We have therefore decided to develop a printing “interface” ourselves. This is based on a set of Rest APIs making it possible to:
- Know the status of the printer.
- Start printing by finely specifying the desired format.
- Manage the printer remotely (number of prints made, print queue in progress, etc.).
This solution allowed us to meet 100% the specific need for the application of the Happy Borne solution without depending on software company and a system implementation which can sometimes be unsuitable for a specific business application.
Through this first example, which may seem trivial at first glance, we quickly realize that ready-made solutions may not always be the most suitable in the context of personalized solutions, where integration and user experience are important points.
A little more complex ... A camera
Still on the Happy Borne project , we had the challenges of improving the quality of the photos taken by the camera of an iPad ( little reminder on the Happy Borne solution ). This issue is complex in several ways for app making softwares, the iPad is a powerful device, but limited on certain points such as peripherals usable in USB / Lightning. This is also limited on the capabilities of the operating system in terms of external connectivity (USB, Bluetooth, etc.).
After looking for specific solutions with the manager of HappyBorne, we realized that at the time of development, there was no photo solution on the market as we wanted. So we decided to turn a Nikon D3000 SLR camera into a * Super Camera for iPad * .
It is on the basis of this problem, and this material choice that we decided to develop a 100% in-house API-type in it development company software brick. This makes the camera and iPad compatible. Regarding the hardware, we reused the Raspberry Pi present in the terminal by adding a Python API which allows to:
- Take photos.
- Know the status of the device.
The goal of finding a specific solution is also to be able to respond to specific issues, camera not present, user handling error, etc. Indeed, it is completely resilient and adapts according to the presence of the camera. If this becomes unavailable, the system will switch to the camera integrated in the iPad.
Converting software or a physical solution into a connected solution is a real skill. We were able to deploy all our know-how in various projects from mobile software development, always having as objective the success of our clients' projects.
Our mission at Playmoweb does not stop with the creation of your application, we support you from your idea to realization, even if it includes a physical solution that at first glance seems incompatible with a mobile application.
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