Solution: ARM-based Microcontroller
Bike Systems asked ByteSnap Design to help develop Bike HUD, its new head-up display for motorcyclists.
ByteSnap played a major role in the project, not only developing the hardware and software design – built around an ARM-based microcontroller, but also shaping the direction of the overall product development.
Dave Vout, Founder and CEO of Bike Systems, said:
“Our original specification was for a limited, single purpose device, but now, thanks to ByteSnap, the product we are taking to market is wholly different to what we started out with. ByteSnap took the time to understand our vision for Bike HUD, building flexibility into the design let us reach new markets, create accessory products easily and reduce time-to-market.”
Time was of the essence for the Bike HUD launch, competitors had already announced that they were developing HUD type products for motorcyclists, and Bike Systems wanted to secure a competitive advantage by launching first.
Bike Systems came to ByteSnap with an initial design for Bike HUD; the design took a very traditional approach and required several dedicated, discrete components. However, Bike HUD was an entirely new kind of product and the requirements were likely to change as the project progressed.
The ByteSnap team, recognising the need for speed-to-market and the likelihood of design changes, proposed an alternative design. ByteSnap revised the original design specification, introducing a much greater degree of flexibility and expandability. The new design approach would enable Bike Systems to develop Bike HUD in new ways, making it more competitive and able to reach additional markets with the same core product.
The first prototype, built around an ARM-based microcontroller was completed in a few weeks. Bytesnap worked closely with Bike Systems’ optical and mechanical designers to cram the display and associated electronics into a package no larger than a small egg with the bike-mounted control unit being about the size of an iPhone.
Iteration in the design process played an important part in refining the final design, for example, a wireless link was removed to allow all-day operation powered from the bike and increasing safety by reducing (battery) weight in the helmet.
Bike HUD achieved its first-to-market goal and is now in full production.