Finnish Design and Cutting-edge Technology
The startup AirD brought a new air conditioning system to market combing great design with cutting-edge technology for incredible energy savings. The technology is hidden behind one of a variety Finnish-designed exteriors, such as a star-filled sky, an octopus or gentle room lighting.
Without users noticing, electronics monitor air quality and control air flow while avoiding unnecessary costs. These savings are even more noticeable when actively warming or cooling the air.
Gofore planned and built the first version of this challenging technology. AirD wanted to handle the air conditioning needs of the world’s largest cruise ship which includes about 8500 air vents. The data produced by the system was enormous, with 35000 measurements every ten seconds.
Additional goals included making it easy to install, having a high fault tolerance, being secure and automating the configuration as much as possible, allowing for easy maintenance. Design was one of the customer’s key selling points, so all of the system interfaces were designed to look great.
From idea to sale within four months
AirD garnered the attention of customers as part of the Finnish contingent at the world’s largest cruise ship convention. Four months earlier it had been merely an outline of an idea in the customer’s head. Gofore kicked off the product development together with electronics manufacturer Mariachi. Agile development practices were discussed during the day, tools were decided, and a common goal crystallized.
Throughout the project, Gofore’s usability designer sparred with AirD’s product owner about task prioritization and the development of user stories. The project formed around key tasks and future features were left for later development.
Good user experience and design were the central development themes from beginning to end. A complex whole was refined into a easy-to-use and stylish package. At the Miami convention, the development work shone on a computer screen as a stunning user interface.
The most important ideas were refined in war room
Gofore created a ‘war room’ on its premises for the development team and the AirD’s product owner. The whole team could get a snapshot of the day-to-day situation and the common goals were kept clear.
Mariachi, which supplied the embedded electronics, participated in daily communication remotely. Through a joint effort, the system was shortly operational, ready to be tested with real sensors. It was an exciting day when the first air quality measurement ran through the entire system, showing finally in the user interface.
AirD and Gofore were in daily contact through the process. AirD’s active prioritization, the skilfulness of Gofore’s developers, and the good cooperation between partners ensured the projects objectives were met ahead of schedule, allowing the original objectives to be expanded to the creation of a simulator for the development of control algorithms.