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Innovation for recreational competitiveness.

A RECREATIONAL FITNESS COMPANY // Performance Tracker

After delaying the product due to unsatisfactory market conditions, the customer came back to Logic PD to help design, engineer, and manufacture a connected device that lets athletes track their performance and accuracy to help improve their game.

CHALLENGE

Ramping up development and production can be difficult on a tight timeline. It can be even more difficult if the product development process has been on hold for six months. That was the challenge faced by Logic PD. The customer, a leader in fitness and sporting innovation, came to Logic PD to develop a device that would help athletes improve their game by tracking performance metrics. From the project’s beginning, Logic PD was chosen as a complete product lifecycle management partner, slated to perform design through engineering, new product introduction and manufacturing services. The goal of the device was to track the player’s precise location and distance and connect that information to a database. This information would then be stored in the device and downloaded later through the player’s smartphone app.

However, before the Development Phase was completed, the customer decided to delay the launch. Six months later, the customer came back to Logic PD and asked them to pick up development and complete the device with an increased timeline.

SOLUTION

When the customer returned to bring the product to market, the Logic PD team of designers, engineers and manufacturing experts regrouped to reassess user expectations and market conditions to ensure that the project could move forward successfully.

This customer initially commissioned the Logic PD design team to create use cases to determine how the device would be used with athletes. During the Roadmapping Phase, the team spent weeks studying and interviewing avid athletes to ascertain crucial design elements that would help the device to enhance the fitness experience without disrupting it. The design team worked closely with the customer throughout the process to make sure that the overall product design mirrored the customer’s brand identity of innovation and quality. Logic PD and the customer determined that the design met all of the current requirements of the product and Logic PD began the Development Phase. During the Development Phase the customer put the project on hold due to market changes.

When the client returned, the Logic PD electrical, software, and mechanical engineering teams then regrouped to identify open issues and create a new development timeline. It was already determined that GPS would be incorporated into the compact device. Electrical engineers tested different antennas that would provide the less than 2 meter geo-location accuracy that the customer required. The antenna needed to be small to fit into the wearable device, but powerful enough to provide the exact GPS location of the athlete at all times.

Software engineers required a second antenna to be incorporated into the design. This antenna would connect the device to the athlete’s smartphone via Bluetooth® technology. The customer chose to partner with a third party app vendor, whose web app houses a comprehensive catalog of popular fitness race courses around the globe. Integrating the web app into the solution allows players to track their location and performance within that race course. Logic PD software engineers had previously completed the Made for iPhone (MFi) licensing program to get the required tools and training to integrate this technology into the device.

The customer also wanted the device to identify and track the athlete’s sporting equipment. To do this, the customer would need to integrate RFID chips into their complete line of athletic equipment. A RFID chip reader is placed within the device so the athlete would swipe the equipment near the device clipped on their hip. The remaining challenge was to get the RFID reader to scan only the equipment being used by the athlete and exclude other nearby equipment. Logic PD engineers used near field communication-like technology to reduce the power and the antenna strength until the RFID chip and the piece of equipment got close enough to the device. Logic PD mechanical engineers then ruggedized the product to make sure it was usable in all weather and wet conditions, yet easy to use.

The new product introduction and manufacturing team worked with the customer to ensure that the supply chain and manufacturing schedule was set to meet the new timeline.

RESULTS

By leveraging the previous design and development efforts, Logic PD and the customer were able to quickly and efficiently begin development and create a new launch strategy to get the product to market. This device helps to create recurring revenue streams for the customer as well as increase customer touch points along the lifecycle of their line of products. The device went to market in fall of 2014.

CUSTOMER PROFILE

The customer is a world leader in fitness innovation. The company helps athletes play their best by using innovative technology to increase the performance of fitness equipment and apparel.

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