Anelok: design evolution overview

Werner Almesberger werner at
Thu Apr 24 12:24:00 EDT 2014

Ron K. Jeffries wrote:
> Sounds like a lower risk technically. If that causes a 90 day-ish delay so
> be it.

Agreed on the chip's capabilities, though assessing technical risk
would also include verifying completeness of documentation, which,
as far a I know, nobody has done yet with respect to implementing a
non-vendor BTLE stack on that device.

And I really don't like the idea of having such a long delay at the
moment. Progress is slow enough as it is and the problem with
finding an "oh, so much nicer" new chip is that, by the time you get
that one to work, there will be yet one more. And so on, forever.

The next major milestone is to pin down enough of the design to be
able to seek funding.

For this milestone, my goals are:

1) have a baseline hardware architecture that we can expect to be
   good enough for the sort of real-life use we envision,

2) a sensible and functionally sound mechanical design,

3) enough software to a) verify that the hardware works, and b) show
   basic operations and to allow experimenting with the device in
   everyday situations.

Perfection is not required for any of this.

A "good enough" prototype provides:

- something to illustrate the concept,

- the certainty (both for product development and prospective
  funders) that nothing major has been overlooked,

- a "known to be good" fallback.

Once the project is properly funded, there's the "productization"
phase, during which there will still be plenty of opportunities for
improvements since I'd expect the principal activities driving the
schedule to be mechanical design and software development.

But I wouldn't want to have major changes in the overall "look and
feel" of the product at that time. That's why such issues need to be
resolved before funding. (*)

(*) All this assumes some sort of crowdfunding approach. There,
    people tend to not care all that much about the inner workings
    of the device but are somewhat sensitive to changes in shape
    and size. Different forms of funding would have different

Of course the chances of switching chips would be greatly enhanced
if someone worked on that chip in parallel. That way, the whole
proof-of-concept phase could be skipped. Just a hint :-)

- Werner

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