Edge Products

Business situation 

Edge Products was contracted to re-platform the terminal display that plugs into a ‘black box’ type device for inside heavy vehicles – similar to those found in aircraft. Basically, the device called a waySmart™, encourages safer driving habits and with GPS functionality, helps improve operational efficiency.

The waySmart™ terminal had originally been developed on a technology platform which had proven to be costly and hard to maintain. Tony Pitman, Senior Engineer explains that because of Edge Products expertise with device terminal displays, they were tasked with the job of looking for an alternative, more cost-effective solution which could be easily updated.

The Solution 

A couple of options were looked at including Windows CE but based on previous experience Tony discounted this as the cost advantage was negligible. Freescale and Tahoe were the two .NET Micro Framework options available at the time, but the Meridian CPU from Device Solutions had the best features and functionality and would enable the project to be quickly deployed. It also allowed a large visual display with many buttons and LED’s to be connected which ensured all the waySmart™ features could be activated. Most importantly, it enabled easy off-site update of the firmware.

Development time halved  

Tony is clear that it would have been extremely difficult to find another supplier with the same level of responsiveness as Device Solutions.He’s certain this factor alone, ensured the project was completed in 6 months not the year it would have taken had they chosen a similar product from another supplier.

Outstanding Company expertise 

Without reservation he states that, “If I had to undertake the same project now, I would probably still choose Device Solutions for the simple reason I have absolute confidence in the expertise of the company behind the product.” He reckons it’s rare these days to pick up the phone and talk directly to an engineer and get fast results, “we almost always had answers the same day or within 24 hours – it doesn’t get much better than that.”


Business situation

Pulsecor is a medical device company developing the next generation of non-invasive cardiovascular assessment technology. The technology had been developed over a period of 9-10 years into a solution based on a laptop connected to a custom data-collection device but as Andrew Lowe, CTO, conceded, “this was a lot of gear to lug around and we were under pressure to get the technology into a portable form factor quickly.”

The Solution

Andrew says they looked at the available options and chose Device Solution’s product for two key reasons. Firstly, the Tahoe Development kit enabled C# programming and the existing algorithms were in the same language. Secondly, the kit had all the hardware functionality Pulsecor required, including extensive input-output and a high-quality display.

Development time halved

It took less than 3 months to get the solution off the laptop and onto the Tahoe board and Andrew was surprised at how fast they were able to achieve this. He explains that the alternative would have taken at least 6 months and been much more expensive. Using the Tahoe board allowed them to avoid a lot of hardware and driver development, as well as allowing Pulsecor to reuse existing C# source code. “We didn’t need an in-depth knowledge of the technology platform – we’re a medical solutions company not systems integrators.”

Andrew states that “had we chosen another product, we would have needed to develop our own carrier board with someone else’s chip on it.” Device Solutions have simplified the project since Pulsecor have been able to incorporate the Tahoe development kit directly into their device, allowing them to concentrate on their core expertise: medical electronics and software.

Continuous Improvement

Any decision to commit to a particular technology has an inherent risk component but Andrew’s confident that, Device Solution’s product development path will ensure this is negligible. The release of the Tahoe II Development Kit is imminent and Andrew is positive it will help meet the increasingly more sophisticated needs of Pulsecor’s customers. It’s a case of working together for the mutual purpose of continuously improving both Pulsecor and Device Solutions products.


When Mark Bobbitt from Barberry Solutions started designing a bike computer system for B-cycle, he faced some significant challenges. The system has two parts: a computer on the bike to gather data about the trip via GPS, and another device at each kiosk to collect data from the bike at the end of a ride. The kiosk device also communicates all the data back to a central server.

The biggest challenge was on the bike computer. This device has to get reliable GPS data with the limited amount of power generated from a bike hub. When it came to the kiosk device, Mark needed a solutions that would ‘just work’, so Barberry’s engineers could focus on the bike computer design.

He chose the Topaz CPU module as the core of the kiosk design. The Barberry engineers added an RF module and Ethernet interface and the design was done.

“Topaz is very easy to integrate” says Mark. “It provides all the core functionality we need, so there was very little design work for that part of the project.”

Topaz also provided flexibility during the design process. The i.MX25 has plenty of processing power which gave confidence to the engineers that they could make changes and add functionality without taxing the system resources.

The Operating System used was Windows Embedded CE 6.0,with application code was written in C#. “Using a high level language like C# made for very happy software engineers” says Mark. “It made interfacing to the back-end server much easier than if standard C was used, and helped us stay compatible as changes were made on the server side.”

Mark concludes, “I would definitely recommend Topaz. It lowered the risk for the project and enabled us to focus on the critical tasks.”

Aptera Motors

Anything that captures our imagination and distracts us from the calamity and confusion of world events is worth shouting about, right? Yes, of course. Here’s some news, which will do more than just kick-start your imagination.
Aptera Motors Inc. USA, have successfully prototyped tomorrow’s most fuel-efficient vehicle today, and they’re taking orders now! Along the way, the Aptera™ presented many design and production challenges including the need to illuminate and control the cars instrument panel. To help overcome that challenge, Aptera enlisted the help of Device Solutions.
 “We’re incredibly excited to be collaborating with Aptera to find an efficient, cost-effective solution which meets the functional and design specification of the vehicle now, and in the future” Martin Welford, Device Solutions.


Business situation

ILR provides specialist expertise in hardware and embedded software engineering to organisations and manufacturers who need to get their projects to market fast and cost efficiently. By identifying the project links and interdependencies, ILR minimises the risk and costs associated with production, distribution, supply and marketing, as opposed to looking at one aspect in isolation. Essentially, they bring the value of an objective perspective and an holistic approach to the hardware and embedded software engineering design table.


Many of the projects ILR undertake require a Windows CE computer that interfaces to systems using web services and talk to each other using internet protocols. Many of these are credit card and EFTPOS payment systems which require integration between devices, multiple systems and secure networks over the internet.

In order to design, develop and test systems, Marcus Clyne, hardware and software design director at ILR says that what they needed to do was take a module and put it on a board and know with absolute confidence it would work.


His experience of Taiwanese, European and US supplied boards, is that what they say it will do is quite different to how it works, or doesn’t work as the case may be.

Marcus discovered, “The support just isn’t there so you’re on your own if something doesn’t work. You just can’t feel confident about buying the board. That wastes a lot of time, money and resource.”


“We heard about Device Solutions and explained exactly what we wanted to do and asked the question, can your board do this? The short answer is yes.

The following are actual projects ILR has successfully completed using Device Solutions i.MX25 Module. For commercial reasons, the client’s name cannot be disclosed.

Vending Machines

ILR works with a client who specialises in integrated payment solutions for snack and drink vending machines. “Basically, we took Device Solution’s Topaz module and put it in a drinks vending machine to enable payment by credit card. We didn’t have any dramas where something needed to be re-engineered or told “Oh, that functionality is coming out in the next release.” In fact, the board scaled to meet the demands of three diverse product developments subsequent to the initial development, saving the end customer time and money.

Automation Control

Another ILR client needed to undertake complex development and testing as cheaply as possible. Marcus explains, “In this project we were able to make a very inexpensive large low-tech board and use the socketed module to put a very high-tech computing solution in the middle of the board. This saved our client a lot of money because we had a little module that had all the high-tech computing on it along with the big board, which was cheap to make. All the “hard stuff” was done already using the Device Solutions Topaz module. It also meant the company manufacturing the big board didn’t need to be highly skilled, so the costs of production were small.” Typically, this project would require the expensive set-up of a Windows CE computer, an 8 layer PCB, and an extensive test suite.

At a glance

  • Dependable product and support from Device Solutions for the Topaz i.MX25 Module is the difference between buying from them and buying from Taiwanese, European and US suppliers.
  • Support translates into also having the confidence that client projects can be undertaken with the expectation of success from the outset.
  • Cost effective feature set – you don’t pay for a lot of functionality that you don’t need, but the functionality is easily implemented with simple external hardware.
  • Easy to integrate into projects; from simple to complex.