Case Studies : Mobile Linux Data Device
Customer: Startup (we cannot disclose until ship)
Industry: Mobile consumer electronics
Solution: Linux convergence device
A product startup client had a hardware idea and approached
Blue Mug to architect and implement the device software.
Two important factors were low cost-of-goods and integrated
connectivity. The target hardware had an ARM7 CPU (processing power
of a 100Mhz Pentium), 8MB flash and 16MB of RAM, with Ethernet, IR,
and PCMCIA connectivity.
Blue Mug was responsible for designing a solution that could run
efficiently on this hardware, with a minimum of software and
Blue Mug Solution:
We quickly agreed to leverage the product against Open Source
software. Linux is free and provides most of the infrastructure needed
for a communication-centric device.
To support our customers' business model of licensing completed device
software, Blue Mug crafted a plan for developing a proprietary,
licensable software layer to operate over the Open Source (Linux)
software base. The end result allowed our customer to retain a
competitive advantage in its market while leveraging the strengths of
the underlying Linux OS.
With ownership concerns dealt with, we next addressed the issue
of Linux's size - could this full-featured OS be shrunk down to meet
the small footprint requirements of an inexpensive mobile device?
Concentrated efforts on key libraries demonstrated that yes, it was
The unique screen size and input paradigm led us to create an
easy-to-use custom UI. We developed and released low-level tools to
download Linux to our prototype hardware, and contributed to the
kernel port for our target hardware. Anticipating potential usability
headaches, we designed an infrastructure that flawlessly switches
connectivity methods as needed.
In only a few months, our small team of engineers assembled a
prototype with our custom UI, application infrastructure, and full
Blue Mug was uniquely suited to this project. We have years of
experience building a range of embedded devices, we understand Open
Source, and we can nimbly adapt to any challenge.