IoT: Choosing the Right Tech Could Accelerate the Success of Your Product

  • Tech

Mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies are often at the core of the value proposition of many digital initiatives, and the choices of underlying technologies can have a significant impact on the success of a project. During our collaboration with Scorched Ice, creators of a revolutionary IoT device for hockey training, these technological choices proved crucial in achieving an extremely efficient digital experience that exceeded client expectations and enhanced player performance.

Scorched Ice is revolutionizing hockey training with its IoT sensors attached directly to skates, measuring players' skills and performance on the ice. These sensors collect crucial data such as skating movements, toe tilt, foot roll, and acceleration, offering a detailed analysis of skating strides and player performance. A suite of machine learning algorithms then provides coaches with a precise overview of their team's strengths and areas for improvement.

What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things (IoT for short) refers to the connection all kinds of devices to the Internet. "Think of devices connected to your smart home, a sports watch, or a soil sensor that signals watering needs, for example. This technology allows everyday objects not traditionally associated with computing to receive data via a web connection," explains Mathieu Fillion, Development Team Manager.

The concept of IoT is based on the idea that the interconnection of objects can facilitate daily life by automating certain tasks and providing real-time information. This is how the Scorched Ice device manages to accurately portray a player's stride on the ice, through the connection of the sensor on the skate to the mobile application we developed.

Distinguishing Familiarity and Efficiency

When we began our collaboration with Scorched Ice, the client was looking for an innovative prototype to address connectivity issues that had to be operational in just a few months, in time for the March break training camp season. It was necessary to reduce the initial connection delay of 30 minutes, and to successfully connect the devices of a team of about forty players before their practice or match, without disturbing their preparation routine. The goal was to minimize the time dedicated to this task to allow the coach to focus on teaching and coaching.

In mobile development and IoT integration, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Different technologies meet different needs and contexts. For example, when it comes to managing a large number of devices simultaneously via Bluetooth, a technology that supports what is called multithreading is more appropriate.

Multithreading is a programming technique that allows an application to handle multiple tasks or processes simultaneously. In the case of Scorched Ice, it was particularly relevant to allow the mobile application to interact with multiple sensors and transfer specific data to each one at the same time. Since establishing a connection with a BLE device can take a few seconds, doing so simultaneously among several devices at once was a very effective technique to speed up the process. This capability was crucial for the effective operation of the prototype and to meet expectations.

Initially, we considered using React Native to better align with the client’s existing ecosystem and expertise. However, after evaluating the specific needs of the project and the advantages and disadvantages of different technologies, we found it much more appropriate to switch to .Net to achieve our goals. This decision was motivated by the superior capabilities of the native .Net API, which was much more efficient in managing the high volume of concurrent connections to respect the client's budget and timeline. This strategic change not only improved the startup time of sessions but also proved to be much more cost-effective for the client.

«We not only met the goal of setting up in less than 5 minutes, but we completely blew it out of the water! Following numerous tests during training sessions, we observed a setup process between 30 and 60 seconds, significantly faster than the targeted time, greatly enhancing the coach's experience and the overall efficiency of the team's sessions.»

Charles-Olivier Levasseur, Solutions Director.

Our expertise and ability to handle many technologies, including native and cross-platform like React Native, .Net, and Flutter, gave us the flexibility needed to properly evaluate options and make an informed choice for Scorched Ice. Our prior experience with the BLE protocol for connecting devices and our expertise in multithreading, particularly in fleet management, were decisive in this project, in addition to leveraging our expertise in configuration and Wi-Fi connectivity, an essential aspect of IoT.

This illustrates the importance of carefully selecting the most appropriate technology for your needs, especially given its significant impact on Scorched Ice's IoT. This decision can be influenced by various factors, including your digital ecosystem, existing expertise, and specific needs for your product. While we don't have a crystal ball, factors such as the size of the community and the technology's history will allow us to confidently guide you towards the right choice for your business.

For every project we undertake, we seek to strike the right balance between innovation and practicality, ensuring that our technological proposals are tailored to meet our customers' particular requirements and initiatives before development begins.