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Project Costs

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Hello,

I was wondering how much it would cost a large corporation (For example Samsug or Motorola) for the development of a new home automation product line similar to products found in the following web site:

http://www.control4.com.au/

Basically, would a large electronic corporation be able to put a line like this on the market in 6 to 8 months or would it be more like 6 to 8 years. Bearing in mind that modules have to be created with intgrated touch screens filled with a multitude of options and have the ability of communication by RF from one module to another. Also, keeping in mind that a full system integration of circuitry such as micro processors (100000 lines perhaps) flash memories, CPLDs would need to be implemented. And suppose we were to integrate a camera aswell.

Can anyone express the amount of effort and money that would be required for a company to compete with an already existing company like COntrol4?

Just seeking some feedback on this issue.

Thanks for your input.

With regards
Rob
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
No idea on costs, but I think you would be surprised how quickly such a system could be developed, after all it's nothing new, just a slightly different useage of existing technologies.
 
Thanks for your post Nigel,

Very Quickly?

I mean don't forget, we are not talking about using WinCE or Linux, everything has to be done from scratch! Meaning you have to program every pixel and its color yourself in order to display pics, menues Icons and overlying characters.

And am talking about a full set of options and features were one can load any picture in the module which Control4 doesn't offer.

I don't know about this but it took me 2 months just to do the driver for a 16 mbit SPI flash in my last project. And when I say 2 months.... I mean 10 hours a day since there were bugs and at every step o the way things didn't always work the first time or the first 10 times in most cases.

If it would be that easy then why are there just a handfull of these companies on the market (5 to 8 of them!) The actual market is huge.

Get Back your feedback is very important to my survey on weather it is worthed or not to persue this market!

With sincere regards
Rob
 

Torben

Well-Known Member
Need more information to answer accurately (and even then it's a crap shoot) but some thoughts:

I mean don't forget, we are not talking about using WinCE or Linux, everything has to be done from scratch! Meaning you have to program every pixel and its color yourself in order to display pics, menues Icons and overlying characters.
That seems odd to me. Why wouldn't you write a library to handle that stuff for you? Even if you don't have access to an existing library, chances are that there is one similar enough that you could port it. A simple UI library shouldn't take too long once you understand the platform. A large company should have one ready to test within a couple of weeks I should think (unless this is the first time they've done this), while another working group would be developing the backend code separately (but to a common and agreed-upon API).

I would think that if a large company were doing this, they'd likely make selecting a platform where this is not necessary part of their process. i.e. pick a platform with available and IP-unencumbered (or licensable) low-level libraries/OS to do the basic stuff for them. Then the company just has to develop, write, and test the UI and control logic--which I think would consume the bulk of the time.

So I'd say definitely closer to 6 to 8 months than 6-8 years for a large well-funded and well-managed project.


Torben
 

JimB

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
A few random thoughts on the subject.

For a domestic product, the development time (and hence cost) would have to be less than 1 year.

If the development took more than 1 year, the hardware would be obsolete several times over.

Very few products are completely new, most are based in some way on something which exists already (and so has had most of the bugs found).

A large company on a tight timescale will "buy in" items from another supplier, if they are looking to order a large quantity, the supplier will gladly tweek the design, either in function or appearance as the large company requires.

The large company will have a team of people working on the design and may call in specialist consultants to help with particular problems.


For products like this, the process often goes:

Some one in marketing thinks "Hey this would be a good idea"
The next question would be "How many can we sell?"
Followed by "How much can we charge for it?"

They then ask the engineering department "How much will it cost to design this?"
and then ask the production department "How much to build this?"

They then do their sums and if it look like it will make a profit, they ask the big boss if the company can or wants to, fund the development.

JimB
 
Hello JimB,

So you are telling me, That a large company that was never in the home automation business ex: Panasonic! They would be able to get processor technology, user freindly GUI for remote controlling all other apparatuses, mass storage circuit (Flash memories), camera technology, create an RF (mesh like) communication links between all modules, integration of lighting dimmers and HVAC thermostats and perhaps an embeded burglar alarm system, and the apparatus also being communicatable to any home recptacles for dimming or contrilling loads and fully design the apparatus so that it all fits in an existing home electrical box all they would need is 1 year with the following individuals: a project manager, two or three engineers, a buyer and presto the product works and everyone gets a tap on the back by the big boss?

Let me know I want to start going out there and getting quotes.... WHere can I get this 1 year package service!

With regards
Robert
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
RobertRoss said:
Thanks for your post Nigel,

Very Quickly?

I mean don't forget, we are not talking about using WinCE or Linux, everything has to be done from scratch! Meaning you have to program every pixel and its color yourself in order to display pics, menues Icons and overlying characters.
Why would you do that from scratch, it's all been done before, you reuse existing code and hardware (to some extent).

There's a series of new satellite boxes being launched in the UK called Freesat, it's apparently out at the end of May, and the specs were only released to the various manufacturers in September/October time. But even though it's a new design to a new spec, you can still use a certain amount of existing hardware and software.

And am talking about a full set of options and features were one can load any picture in the module which Control4 doesn't offer.

I don't know about this but it took me 2 months just to do the driver for a 16 mbit SPI flash in my last project. And when I say 2 months.... I mean 10 hours a day since there were bugs and at every step o the way things didn't always work the first time or the first 10 times in most cases.
Sorry, but that's probably a reflection on your programming skills :eek:

Not that I would claim to be better, or as good.

If it would be that easy then why are there just a handfull of these companies on the market (5 to 8 of them!) The actual market is huge.
I suspect the market is probably far smaller than you think, and not large enough for the big names to be interested. If it ever did really become a main stream product, then the big names would probably come in and try and take over?.
 

JimB

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
RobertRoss said:
Hello JimB,
Hello

RobertRoss said:
So you are telling me,
I detect a note of sarcasm creeping in here.

RobertRoss said:
That a large company that was never in the home automation business ex: Panasonic!
A large company that has done many things over the years.

RobertRoss said:
They would be able to get processor technology, user freindly GUI for remote controlling all other apparatuses, mass storage circuit (Flash memories), camera technology, create an RF (mesh like) communication links between all modules, integration of lighting dimmers and HVAC thermostats and perhaps an embeded burglar alarm system, and the apparatus also being communicatable to any home recptacles for dimming or contrilling loads and fully design the apparatus so that it all fits in an existing home electrical box
All things with which they are quite familiar in other areas, just not all at the same time in this application.

RobertRoss said:
all they would need is 1 year with the following individuals: a project manager, two or three engineers, a buyer and presto the product works and everyone gets a tap on the back by the big boss?
Now you are being silly, I did not say that at all.

RobertRoss said:
Let me know I want to start going out there and getting quotes.... WHere can I get this 1 year package service!
When you are as big in industry as Panasonic, you will have lots of contacts.

RobertRoss said:
With regards
Robert
Regards
JimB
 
Nigel,
You may be right, I may be less skilled as a programmer than you or many others, but still, when we talk about suff drivers for SPI flash memories its not like its ano brainer... I know some engineers that simply gave up because they couldn;t get it working.

JimB, no sarcasm here, just trying to understand whats going on in the high tech project market. I actually respect you and anyone else that bothers to respond to my posts.

I just wanted an idea of production rate of research and development.

Reagards
Rob
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
RobertRoss said:
Nigel,
You may be right, I may be less skilled as a programmer than you or many others
Try reading my post again, I never claimed to be better than you, or even as good - I've no way of knowing our relative levels, and am quite happy that you may be better than me.
 
Hi Nigel,

No! I meant to say that *you* may better than me!

I never like to say otherwise. :)

And by the way I have your book... good stuff!

See ya later my good freind!
 
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