IoT Development Case Study: CUJO The Smart Firewall
Meet CUJO, an innovative product of IoT development. It's a firewall for connected homes, designed to protect networks from such threats as malware and viruses, virtual intrusions and hacks. Useful. Smart. Stylish. We were assigned to create native software for iOS and Android, which would help the user control a CUJO device and allow them to monitor the security of the network. That was it. Our software would make work with CUJO very simple, without any additional software installation or configuration.
How this software project started
CUJO wasn't the first startup initiated and run by the Client; he was an experienced entrepreneur with rich expertise in consumer tech, business development, and global e-commerce. From the beginning we communicated directly, and he showed deep understanding of product development and promotion. His crowdfunding campaign gathered significantly more than expected. It was a compelling proof that a product like CUJO was highly relevant and interesting. Later on, the Client assigned a product owner from his team—and this is the way we have been working together ever since.
Our main task was implementation and successful delivery of iOS and Android apps that would interact with the CUJO device. We got the general idea of the system and the particular work that would be done by MobiDev. As usual, things started with the UI/UX stage, making design sketches for iOS and Android apps. The Client's designer provided us with a design guide, and we updated our works to make the design consistent with other parts of the software project.
The functionality of our minimum viable product was conceived as the simplest and most valuable set of features that we would implement before CUJO devices would appear on shelves of e-shops. We had general understanding of what the final product is going to be and what features would be there, but we had space for changes and improvements of the product. This allowed us to be flexible and instantly process any information received from experts and the market during iterative development.
Taking a look into the mobile app development process
The process was built upon 2-week sprints. We combined several best practices from Scrum and Kanban, each depending on the current project stage. Sprint retrospectives, daily meetings, sprint reports, and regular deliverables allowed us to synchronize our efforts. We were able to share ideas on improving and automating the process of app development, becoming more and more productive with every subsequent sprint.
Over the entire project span, we were receiving continuous feedback from potential CUJO users. For example, beta testers suggested a feature of disabling the glowing eyes of the CUJO device. This idea did not require much time and was quickly implemented.
As the app development progressed, CUJO regularly received acclaim at the leading innovative exhibitions worldwide, as an essential and stylish product for smart home, which is renowned for being one of the hottest IoT trends on the rise. This acclaim further motivated our team to invest maximum effort in the outcome.
Eventually we went beyond the basic functionality, staying within the budget and scheduling. We added features that brought more user value to the software product. A great example is a feature of video call to tech support. It was requested by the Client with the release date nearing. Focusing on a new feature instead of focusing on polishing is a potential risk. We thoroughly analyzed the request and found out that it was possible to quickly implement it with a Twilio solution. Within the next several hours we got the first prototype with video calls. Seamless teamwork of our developers allowed to implement and test such an unusual feature quickly and effectively just before the release, and it proved a useful and pleasant surprise for users.
Features (identical for iOS and Android apps)
• CUJO activation
• CUJO settings
• Threat list and details
• Threat charts (weekly/monthly)
• Threat blocking/unblocking
• List of devices in the network
• Device details
• Manual device identification
• Manage device in the network
• Manage subscription
• Video call to tech support
• Java for Android
• Objective-C for iOS
• Twilio video calls
• Twilio SMS service
• Custom UI and animations
• Push Notifications + in-app interactions
• Interactions with webview
Results and achievements
We all know that details matter, and a lot of small but vital feature suggestions were made during the implementation of the project and approved by the Client, from app design and up to several items of functionality that are currently under development and will show up in the next version.
Overall, our company, our team is happy to work on this innovative, challenging and highly promising project, an excellent example of mobile app development for the consumer Internet of Things. We admire the professionalism of the Client and his team, our easy communication and the trust that we have built during our mutual work. The atmosphere and general results can be perfectly illustrated by the feedback left by the Client:
"Want to thank you all in creating this wonderful app and wish to keep focused in making it even better! Really big Thank you!"
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