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By James Kim

Here at FirstBuild, we prototype ideas fast to gather feedback and understand user preferences for products. In certain cases, we need a basic mobile app working with our prototype to showcase an idea, and this is exactly what we saw in our Wine Chiller project.

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We could develop mobile apps for prototypes, but it can be a bit time consuming. In comes the Simblee™, providing the perfect solution on top of a number of great features.

  1. Don’t know Java or Gradle? Don’t know Objective C, Swift, or Xcode?

No worries! Apps are created from simplified lines of code written inline within an Arduino sketch.

  1. Only have an iOS phone/Andriod phone?

You can use either! Simblee creates both Android and iOS apps.

  1. Want to send data via Bluetooth but not sure how?

Simblee™ makes it easy transmit data bidirectionally between your project and phone with a couple lines of code.

  1. Yet another microcontroller I have to learn?

Not really. If you know Arduino, you know Simblee™. Easy as pie.

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There are a lot of features (i.e. refrigeration, wine history, and lighting) we could add to the prototype but before we add them, do users actually want or need them? So we start with something basic: placing and removing a bottle from the rack. Very simple, but at the same time, it garners user feedback, which is critical to the project’s direction.

We still wanted to make our demo even easier to understand. So we even added Serial communication between the Simblee™ and the Raspberry Pi, which displayed a storyboard that provided instructions based on what the user was doing on the app. It’s only a matter of time before we’re building our next prototype!

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