Virtual Reality combined with real roller coaster ride

Virtual Reality combined with real roller coaster ride

One of the Gold Coast theme parks was seeking a solution to overhaul a roller coaster ride by enhancing the experience with virtual reality (VR). The plan was to have guests wearing VR headsets which are synced perfectly to the twists and turns of the ride.

Each train is equipped with a Hall effect sensor that tracks the revolution of the wheels to determine exactly where on the ride the guests are. A custom software was developed by Team Brookvale which feeds the Hall effect sensor readings to a railway grade Advantech Computer. It transmits the data to the headsets 1,000 times per second via WiFi, working to ensure that the VR story unfolds in a fluid and fully synced way.

The roller coaster ride is in its testing phase and will be available for the public later this year.

Note: VR software and Hall effect sensor was developed by other parties.

 

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We offer a free 45 min project discovery workshop. We will discuss the opportunities, key steps and technical feasibility for your concept. This session also includes suggested improvements, MVP focus and a costing estimation.

 

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From Idea to the App Store

From Idea to the App Store

How does app development work and how much does it cost?

Mobile apps are powerful tools for engaging with customers. With more than 2 billion active smartphone users around the world the industry is growing rapidly. The mobile business is still very young and making your mobile app a success depends on how well your idea is executed.

The questions we get asked a lot is how much does it cost to build an app. We came up with our own rule of thumb Team Brookvale formula: $4,000 per screen per platform is generally a good guess.

IDEA

Before you decide to build a mobile app you should have the answers for the questions below:

  • What is the problem that I’m trying to solve?
  • Who’s the target market?
  • What would be the best platform for this idea? Mobile, web or something else?
  • How will I attract and retain users?
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    After answering these questions the core functions of the app can be determined and a rough ballpark figure for the development cost can be estimated. The exact cost is dependent on complexity and features which can only be concluded after completing the planning & wireframing phase.
    Developing a mobile software is a complicated and expensive project requiring the teamwork of a business analyst, UI designer, UX designer, programmer and project manager. The development cost can be anywhere from $30,000 to $200,000.

    PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT PLANNING & WIREFRAMING

    $5,000 – $15,000 – 1 – 2 months

    The planning phase involves analysing your idea by taking into account technical details and feasibility. During planning workshops we prepare a wireframing documentation with all functions and screens detailed in depth. A native, working prototype is also prepared which can be shown to potential investors and customers.
    By the end of this stage a development schedule and costing is also prepared.

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    SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

    $30,000 – $150,000 – 3 – 6 months (per platform)

    After confirming the wireframing documentation a team of designers and programmers begin to build the mobile app and backend. Development advance test versions are regularly provided to you ensuring transparency and making sure the project stays on track. As a rule of thumb we found that if you calculate with $4,000 per app screen per platform then it’s quite often a good guess.

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    ONGOING COSTS

    $5,000 – $25,000 – Annually

    Maintaining the application ensures it runs smoothly across all platforms and operating systems. Ongoing costs include server maintenance, bugfixing and dispatching updates.

    ELEMENTS AFFECTING COSTS GREATLY

  • Developing for different platforms (iOS, Android, Web, other)
  • Developing for different devices (iPhone, iPad, Android phones, Android tablets)
  • Integration with existing enterprise systems
  • Backend development
  • CONCLUSION

    The cost of app development is dependent on complexity and features. Simple apps can be developed for $30,000 while complex applications can cost over $150,000. The planning and wireframing phase is essential to determine the timeframe and cost for the project.

    Also keep in mind the Team Brookvale formula: $4,000 per screen per platform is generally a good guess.

    FIRST STEPS

    Flesh out the idea and feasibility at our free workshop session.
    Complete a detailed planning and wireframing phase.
    You will receive a native prototype, costing and timeline for the project.

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    Next steps

    We offer a free 45 min project discovery workshop. We will discuss the opportunities, key steps and technical feasibility for your concept. This session also includes suggested improvements, MVP focus and a costing estimation.

     

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    Email

    Water quality monitoring with IoT

    Water quality monitoring with IoT

    Recent low-cost IoT devices such as Libelium Waspmote provide a simple and economical solution to monitor water quality characteristics. To have an understanding of water quality a number of its physical and chemical properties should be measured such as: pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), oxidation-reduction potential (ORP), conductivity (salinity), turbidity, temperature and dissolved ions (Na+, Ca+, F-, Cl-, Br-, I-, Cu2+, K+, Mg2+, NO3-).

    A key test of water quality is measuring of turbidity. Turbidity is a measure of degree to which the water loses its transparency due to solid particles. Nephelometric turbidimeters measure suspended particulates by employing a light beam (source beam) and a light detector set to one side (often 90°) of the source beam. In the United States environmental monitoring the turbidity standard unit is called Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU)

    Turbidity monitoring is important in the following scenarios:

    – Urban waste water treatment
    – Sanitation network
    – Industrial effluent treatment
    – Surface water monitoring
    – Drinking water
    – Aquaponics
    – Hydroponics

    Libelium’s Turbidity sensor was designed specifically for IoT applications and has a range from 0 to 4000 NTU (0-4500mg/l).

    Generally water is potable if the measurement is lower than 1 NTU. Drinking water utilities use different filtration methods and aim to achieve 0.1 NTU.

    If you have any questions about environmental monitoring, pollution measurement or just generally about IoT feel free to contact us.

    Building a smart city with low-cost IoT devices

    Building a smart city with low-cost IoT devices

    Most growing metropolitan areas are struggling to improve quality of life as pollution and congestion issues are getting worse each year. There are however many recent, low-cost devices which could contribute to better city planning and in return to sustainability and efficiency.

    A typical application of IoT is to install a large number of low-cost, long range devices throughout the city and from there all environmental readings are fed into a database through the cloud. Using these measurements a detailed map can be created showing a detailed distribution of noise, pollution, traffic, energy consumption, etc. This is valuable data for city planners and decision makers of future developments.

    To name a few common smart city applications:

  • Air quality, acoustic quality and meteorological readings.
  • Water quality management systems. Pipe pressure, water-flow and leak sensing minimising losses . Also chemical characteristics can be detected instantly to monitor quality.
  • Monitor energy consumption in public buildings and optimise readings according to date (e.g. power off computers instead of sleep mode, A/C usage optimization etc.)
  • Traffic control. Live traffic optimisation using cameras Smart parking system (e.g. dynamic, real-time feedback of parking spaces)
  • 1024px-Smart_City_Nansha

    In the upcoming months Team Brookvale will monitor air quality across Sydney to give a better understanding of air pollution. Make sure to follow our Facebook and Twitter page for updates.

    Saboteur Diver goes open source

    Saboteur Diver goes open source

    Saboteur Diver, our isometric stealth game is available for the game developer community as a free download. Now anyone can download the code and build the game to iOS devices with Unity 4.3. More advanced developers interested in contributing to the project can contribute their own fixes and enhancements to make Saboteur Diver better.

    The project is available to download from GitHub. It is already an incredibly popular place for developers to collaborate. It is easy to view the source code right on the website, or quickly check-out the code to your machine.

    https://github.com/TeamBrookvale/SaboteurDiver

    Things to know before outsourcing app development projects

    Things to know before outsourcing app development projects

    Introduction

    Outsourcing app development job seems a good idea as programmers, project managers and other professionals earn much less overseas so you can get the same value for much less compared to local devs. Along with the low costs they are highly skilled and can speak English.
    There are however negative aspects that needs to be considered before you decide to get an overseas team to develop your software.

    Communication

    Level of spoken English and work ethics vary wildly across companies and countries. You have to be prepared to spend more time getting your point made because of the language barrier and misunderstandings.

    Costs

    While initial daily fees look promising it’s very easy to end up having a very high bill. Constant delays due to misunderstandings, low efficiency level and sometimes incompetency means burning the budget which leads to an unexpectedly high final bill.
    It’s worth to note that if you go to an established, large, well known overseas software development company, then chances are the final bill will be very similar to a local developer team’s fee but without the benefit of easy communication and personal meetings.

    Buy cheap, buy twice

    There are many instances where you can burn yourself. For example your overseas development team may use PhoneGap / Cordova / Ionic which are great tools in expert’s hands but generally better to avoid. The advantage of these technologies that it’s fairly easy to put together an app, however once a little bit of complexity is introduced, these apps may fail to scale.
    At best you have a working app with a hard (means expensive) to maintain code base, at worst you have to find a new team and swallow the costs of the unsuccessful venture.
    As you can’t meet with the team personally and the language barrier is present, it’s hard to judge the professionalism of the team.

    Conclusion

    Outsourcing your development job is an uncertain business. Before you commit to invest money in your app development project make sure to do your research. Get quotes from a number of companies and talk to different developers. Do the same with local and overseas companies and once you have a clear understanding of potential risks and rewards it’s much easier to make a well-thought-out decision.

     

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