Mobile App & Cloud: Loudspeaker Manufacturer


Loudspeaker Manufacturer Partners with RUBICON to Bring New Smart IoT Speakers to the Audio Market

“RUBICON was very well-informed as well as provided a lot of solutions and ideas. We are satisfied with their proactive engagement and involvement in the ideation phase. The RUBICON team delivers on time and within scope. Their expertise and efficiency speak to their work ethic. Transparency and a scrum methodology complement their project management style.”

(Project Manager, Loudspeaker Manufacturer Team)

The Beginning

In 2019, our client planned their next boom in the audio industry by building a series of modern speakers for their consumers. Ready to take on a different approach, they contacted our team to help build a functional and user-friendly Android and iOS mobile app and cloud solution to connect with their new line of speakers.

The Client

Based in Denmark, the client is a global and leading loudspeaker manufacturer. With over 40 years of experience in the audio industry, the client builds speakers that produce high-quality and class sound for consumers to enjoy their favourite tunes from their homes, cars, and studios.

The Client's Request

The Loudspeaker Manufacturer’s engineering team crafted a new line of modern speakers using contemporary materials and techniques. Equipped to create an enjoyable user experience for their consumers, the client came up with the idea of building a mobile app that would accompany their products, offering full control of the speakers.

RUBICON’s challenge was to create a custom Internet of Things (IoT) solution that would support the client’s hardware. The software development team’s goal was to design and develop the iOS & Android apps and cloud solution connecting to the speakers.

The Products

The new speakers are built with the latest technologies, techniques, and features offering users a whole new and unique experience unlike any other speakers in the audio market. The speakers come in pairs working in unison to produce the perfect stereo sound.

Some exciting features these speakers include are:

  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection
  • WiSA support
  • Support for Dirac (High-end software collaboration tool)
  • Integrated Chromecast and Spotify connect
  • My Collection: a list of favourite internet radio stations and podcasts
  • Seamless firmware updates

The Challenges

During the development phase of the project, we overcame the following challenges:

  • Designing native Android and iOS apps while maintaining a similar look and feel
  • Creating an intuitive user interface and experience for end-users
  • Producing an easy onboarding process for speakers and integrating seamless speaker control
  • Securing communication between the mobile apps and speakers
  • Implementing carefree over-the-air updates to improve firmware stability
  • Creating a multilingual platform
  • Offering an SSO login using Google, Facebook, and Apple Sign-In (iOS only)
  • Developing an IoT cloud platform that supports both Speaker-Cloud communication and App-Cloud Communication
  • Designing an easily maintainable and scalable cloud architecture

The Software Development Process

Before heading into the development process, our team ran a Lean Inception Workshop with the client’s team defining the features and creating the MVP scope and roadmap for the IoT solution.

RUBICON’s dedicated team was composed of:

  • Three Software Developers
  • A QA Engineer
  • A UX/UI Designer
  • A Product Owner 

The team worked in scrum by breaking up the development roadmap into initial two-week sprints.

During the first few sprint iterations, our main focus was on UX/UI design, where the goal was to define a digital design language following corporate brand guidelines from our client. Our designer started working on a small design system - defining the fonts, colours, UI elements, and layouts necessary for development - following both iOS and Android native design guidelines. When the UX/UI was ready, our mobile developers and cloud developer started working alongside the designer implementing the UI basics on the app and setting up continuous integration and deployment before moving onto the next steps.

The first phase of the project included user onboarding, speaker onboarding, and, basic speaker control. After presenting the MVP product to the client’s team, we started fine-tuning the features and adding more control and radio features.

Following the continuous integration and deployment process, we tested all of the features on the hardware prototypes so we could be sure that the mobile apps would work perfectly with the speakers. During the project, we tested the product very often, both internally and with dedicated client staff as well, which led to a couple of iterations in some UI parts.

Once all changes were made and the app was polished to perfection, we launched the app on both Google Play and the Apple Store ready for users to download and start setting up their speakers.

Mobile App

The goal was to create an iOS and Android app that would be intuitive, functional, and aesthetic allowing full control of the speakers. The app ensures that getting the speakers set up and running is effortless for users. Once the speaker is turned on, the app guides the user with simple instructions on how to connect, set up and control their speaker. Users can adjust speaker settings to create an optimal sound environment enjoying music the way it’s meant to be heard.

The following features are included in the app:

  • Social sign-on (SSO)
  • Speaker set-up and control
  • Opportunity to browse a global directory of internet radio stations and podcasts and add them to favourites
  • Advanced speaker settings such as speaker panning, the position of the speaker in the space/room, input sensitivity, and support for WiSA
  • Support for all new and upcoming speakers
  • Seamless firmware updates and notifications

Photos of mobile app for Loudspeaker Manufacturer

The Cloud Solution

The client requested a solution with the following requirements:

  • To be deployed on AWS
  • Easy long-term maintenance
  • Stability
  • On-demand scalability

The goal was to create a cloud solution to support the IoT devices (speakers) and users (mobile apps and identity).

The focus was to reuse AWS services and lower custom deployments to a minimum so the client doesn’t have to maintain the custom code, therefore any outages/issues will be resolved by Amazon and not the client.

The cloud solution consists of the following features:

  • Over-the-air updates (OTA): One of the goals was to support over-the-air updates of speaker firmware globally.
  • Content delivery network (CDN): All of the firmware/static files need to be globally accessible and fast so CloudFront was used wherever possible.
  • Internet of Things (IoT): AWS IoT was used for secure and reliable communication and provisioning of IoT devices.
  • Identity-as-a-service (IDaaS): AWS Cognito was used as the IDaaS to enable a single identity repository to support all of our authentication needs.
  • Custom logic: AWS Lambda was used for any custom logic not found in Amazon services.

Results

RUBICON’s team delivered the client an IoT solution allowing consumers to fully control their speakers from a high-quality and user-friendly mobile app. Users can listen to their favourite songs, podcasts or radio stations with maximum sound quality and control.

The apps are available on Google Play and the App Store.

Technology Stack

Mobile Technology

  • Swift/Kotlin
  • Xcode/Android Studio
  • iOS SDK/Android SDK
  • Amazon Web Services
  • RxSwift/RxJava
  • Firebase
  • Fastlane

Cloud Technology

  • AWS IoT
  • AWS API Gateway
  • AWS CloudFront
  • AWS Lambda
  • AWS DynamoDB
  • AWS S3
  • AWS Route 53
  • AWS ACM
  • AWS Cognito

Project Screenshots

Mobile app screenshots for Loudspeaker Company

IoS screenshots of mobile app for Loudspeaker Company

Information

Company: High-end Loudspeaker Manufacturer
Region: Denmark
Industry: Audio
Project duration: 2019 - 2020
Project: Android & iOS mobile app and cloud solution

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