Buzz Products Achieves IoT at scale with Mystic Pants

buzz is a multi-award winning global creative agency that solves marketing and business challenges through product design solutions. They regularly win the BRW Annual Innovative Company Award and claim among their customers some of the biggest names in global travel and consumer product categories.

The Challenge
“When you are dealing with big budget, advertising backed and branded consumer IoT products, you don’t have a large margin for error. We need a partner who can write bulletproof code on the device, keep the platform humming, and, keep the users happy, Mystic Pants has done those things really well for us.”
– Barry Gold, Founder and Managing Director of Buzz Products

Buzz Products embarked on an ambitious project to build and sell a market leading IoT consumer product for a major international beer company. Buzz are experts in product design and scale manufacture with many year experience, to augment these skills with IoT device and platform capabilities, Buzz called Mystic Pants.

The Solution
Buzz Products took advantage of Mystic Pants’ extensive platform development experience to produce a secure, scalable and manageable solution for their customer.

Mystic Pants staff were embedded in the Buzz organization and working directly with Buzz engineers and designers developed a solution that implemented the User Experience that Buzz had crafted for the product.

IoT solutions require five components for success, each of which has a profile in terms of scale, reliability and response. Mystic Pants developed these components for Buzz as part of their product development process ;

Embedded device code
IoT platform
Infrastructure platform
Administration interfaces
Application programming interfaces (APIs)
For an IoT system to be successful it must work “like magic” to the customer, in fact, the coordination of several different systems is necessary to make that experience real and each has core requirements that differ from the others.

Device code for the actual IoT device must be rendered in the embedded coding language specified by the hardware solution used, this code should be highly efficient, optimized for speed and size and coded to execute without error on small low-cost hardware. Buzz selected the Electric Imp solution for it’s IoT Platform and the coding was carried out in the Squirrel programming language by Mystic Pants.

In contrast to the Embedded device code, the IoT Platform is focussed on ‘big picture’ concerns, device connection maintenance, data ingestion, data storage efficiency, fast response and massive scale. This is the ‘pipework’ of the solution, the invisible framework that must work quickly and reliably to meet the end users performance expectations while maintaining security and reliability goals for the product owner.

The IoT platform depends on correct Infrastructure Platform selection and deployment. The combination of services that are utilized to deliver the IoT Platform will determine reliability and define the options that are available for platform lifecycle management and support. In this case, Mystic Pants provided Buzz with a platform based around Amazon Web Services (AWS).

User satisfaction for an IoT product is heavily dependant on how well the solution can be supported. A powerful and flexible Administration Interface is key to product success. Not only is this used to support customers in the field, but is also home to the analytics and reporting output that provides value to the product owner by revealing how the product has been deployed and how it is being used. Mystic Pants produced this interface, including geolocation and device performance logging and integrated it with the IoT platform as it’s primary interface.

An IoT solution frequently utilizes either Web or Native Apps to allow user configuration and device control. Application Programming Interfaces (API’s) that map the desired user experience need to available for access by third-party developers for the Android and iPhone apps that comprise the total solution. These interfaces hook into the IoT Platform and the Device Code to complete the ‘magic’ experienced by the end user. Mystic Pants’ coded and implemented these interfaces for the platform and assisted with integration by the app developers.

In addition to these technical development tasks, Mystic Pants assisted Buzz in the product launch and ongoing support of the systems.

The Value
Buzz Products went from initial design to one hundred thousand deployed devices in 18 months. Using MP to carry out the core IoT platform and device work, allowed them to quickly move into the IoT space while concentrating on their core skills of product design, marketing and manufacture. Mystic Pants continues to work closely with Buzz, month by month to ensure they continue to extract value from their first investment. Recently Mystic Pants developed a second generation platform to support Buzz products now and into the future using updated architecture and advanced third-party analytics.

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