Electronic Solutions for Motorsport

Bluetooth – Why we choose Bluetooth & Android

3 min read
MoviChip CamSwitch - Test Relays

Test relays without the engine running

Bluetooth allows us to do three important things

1. Eliminates the need for the customer to run cables from the engine bay into the car

2.Gives us an almost unlimited range of options with which to program our products for example, the area of user interface is not limited to the size of a traditional display

3.We can completely seal the units for weather protection

The essence of our products is to give the customer an advanced, fit and forget product. A product which is invisible but a product which can be accessed without the use of extra control units that need to be purchased and then installed in a way which is easy to access.

Bluetooth allows MoviChip to give the customer a highly customisable product and a product which can be customised using hardware that the customer already posseses ie an Android Smartphone or Android Tablet.

For example the MoviChip CamSwitch gives the customer many different cam activation options and also allows the customer to change the appearance of the app on their phone

Limitations of Bluetooth

While we are big supporters of Bluetooth it does have one downside compared to traditional cables.

MoviChip uses the main control unit to carry out all the necessary operations of the product ie the customer does not need to connect their phone to the product to work.

The settings are stored in the main engine bay mounted unit, this allows the unit to operate completely independently. Just turn the key and go, there is no reason to use the Android device in normal operation.

However, for diagnostic purposes the main control unit can broadcast readings to the App and this is where Bluetooth is not as good as a hard wired connection. Bluetooth limits us with regards to how much information we can send to the App and how fast/how often we can send data to the App. This is noticeable through the slight delay in the sensor readings updating in the App.

The main control unit is effectively responding instantly but the data received by the App has a slight delay.

List of Priorities.

In reality, the speed of update in the app screen is low in our list of priorities. The primary aim of seeing readings on our Apps is for diagnosis purposes only.

When the customer wants to confirm the sensor outputs, the App gives that information, speed is not relevant but sensor reading itself is. Bluetooth fills this role perfectly.

In summary, the use of Bluetooth introduces some response delay in App but this delay does not effect in any way, the performance of the unit.

We could have used cables

We could have chosen to not use Bluetooth and instead used cables but this would have introduced 3 main problems.

1.The customer would have to purchase another piece of hardware ie a programmer to display readings and enter settings

2.The customer would have to purchase and install and additional wiring loom to run from the MoviChip unit mounted in the engine bay to the programmer mounted in the car

These two things increase the cost and the complexity unit for no practical reason. Arguably any programmer we could design and build is not going to have anywhere near the power and compactness of your typical smartphone and a separate programmer is not going to make the product perform any better.

And this in a nutshell is why we chose to use Bluetooth

It reduces the cost of our products

and at the same time

Increases the capability and customisability of our products

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