Embien has supported customers in the Consumer Electronics segment for enabling Android Technologies in their devices. In this case study, we will explore the work done by Embien concerning product engineering a tablet for note-taking. There are many requirements for such a note-taking device. Some of them include getting customer feedback, taking notes during meetings, conferences, etc. But one of the most interesting use is to digitize the way students are taking their exams. This is the use case the customer had for which Embien designed and developed the whole system.
Nowadays a majority of devices available in the market supports capacitive touch, there are few specialized requirements for a resistive touch panel. One of them is enabling using a pen to input from the user. While many high-end devices achieve these functions, they are typically a costlier approach. For a low-cost device, the easier way is to use a resistive touch panel. Using customized manufacturing techniques, it is possible to control the space between the spacers in the resistive panel and hence decide the sharpness of the device being used to operate the panel. For example, if the distance between the spacers is large, a human finger can manipulate the events. But if we keep is close enough, only a sharper device like a pen will be able to generate touch events.
With rich experience in Android embedded devices development, Embien identified the right system components to create the device. The processor is chosen to match the performance requirements. Connectivity options are chosen to enable redundant communication channels. Adequate DDR RAM and Flash memory were selected to match the requirements after a detailed profiling. Power profiling was done to size the battery suitably. While performance is not compromised, the whole BoM is optimized for cost to help the customer achieve price advantage over potential competitors.
Primarily targeted for a local university level examinations, the device needed a whole bunch of features for Question paper management apart from able to write using pens. Some of them include WiFi connectivity to the central server via various access points/repeaters. Security is another major concern to enable both questions and the answers submitted by the student in a digitally encrypted secure format. Fine control of timing both to download and show the questions as well as stop allowing entering answers and uploading them to the server is needed. The answers are also stored locally in a secure encrypted format. Upon successful upload of the data to the server, the answer sheet, as well as the questions, are deleted.
Various fails safe mechanisms are also taken care of in terms of connectivity issues. It was made possible to even pull in question paper from an encrypted USB pen drive. Further an extensive power management and battery optimization is done as the tablet may be used for few days for multiple exams without recharge.
Android application was done with all the above-mentioned features and tested thoroughly for functionality. Android Application Optimization techniques were followed to reduce power and network usage.
In a variation of the tablet for note-taking targeting for enterprise segment, handwriting recognition feature is added. A third-party library which supports advanced machine learning features is incorporated in an Android custom widget. The whole development is developed with quality checks and CTS is performed to validate the Android port. The prototype is quickly developed in a few months and handed over to the customer for products. Other variations of the device to include secure authentication techniques like fingerprint sensor etc are also being planned.
As your trusted vendor for Android embedded devices development and product engineering needs, Embien Technologies can take care of all the aspects of development including hardware design, embedded software development and optimization, qualification for manufacturability and manufacturing the devices with its rich EMS partnership ecosystem. Feel free to partner with us for your product success and profitability!