Your way of working helped us a lot. It’s extremely useful that you take time before the project start to understand our needs and turn them into actual requirements.
iToplight is a “smart taxi roof sign” project owned by Pointguard, an innovative Swedish company with over 30 years’ experience of developing and manufacturing illuminated taxi signs, roof signs and accessories for commercial vehicles. Pointguard is a family run company and has close to 10 employees at the present time. Their current main market is represented by Europe (dominating in Scandinavia) and Middle East with an ongoing expansion to other international markets.
Taxi roof signs and mobile camera surveillance systems for taxi are Pointguard’s major product lines. When working with traditional taxi signs in the past, Pointguard never had the need for complex software development services. However, that all changed when the company decided on its next big move: to develop “smart signs” for taxis and other vehicles, signs that can collect data and deliver targeted messages adapted to context and audience. This change would take traditional taxi roof signage to the next level: “Smart signs are the future.” says Jesper Flygt, CEO of Pointguard.
Pointguard’s clients have asked for these smart signs for a while now: “Our idea for the smart sign, which we call iToplight, came about 7 years ago, when some customers told us they wanted to do more with their taxi signs. The initial idea was to find better ways to display the status of the car (Hired, On Call, Off Duty). We started off with a smart display, a colored LED display that allowed us to display multiple fixed text messages such as the status of the car or the taxi booking number. We’re also focusing on connecting other parties to display important info such as traffic information or a short headline that can be of interest for advertisers. We’re working on adding more advanced smart features such as environmental sensors to the sign in order to measure air pollution in different parts of the cities. These are just some of iToplight’s features, the possibilities are endless when connecting it to other smart products and services.”
The old situation
As most small companies, Pointguard started working on the software side of the “smart signs” project with someone from its close network – a friend of a friend. They started with app development (only Android at that time), but it became harder and harder to advance due to the volume of workload and almost impossible to adapt to the rapid changes and requirements in the mobile ecosystems. They needed a professional and reliable software partner on their side. A partner that was committed from start to finish.
The “smart signs” project is what brought Pointguard in contact with BusyMachines. As the project’s needs grew, the team decided to take the next logical step and start working with fully-dedicated professionals, so they reached out to the BusyMachines team: “We didn’t get the same level of professionalism and quality in the past that we get from working with you guys. I like the way you handle our relationship and your way of dealing with our project. BusyMachines has really good references. We were happy that you were already working with a partner of ours from the taxi industry, so we knew you had the right experience and we could all learn from each other. This project is one of the biggest projects we’ve ever worked on, so the collaboration with BusyMachines is very important to us.”
The short term objective of the collaboration with BusyMachines was to create a cloud platform, the mobile apps and a web portal, then connect the iToplight sign to the cloud platform (via the mobile app). This enables remote configuration and monitoring of the iToplights, which makes the work easier for both Pointguard and their customers. The next step will be to use the platform to add other smart components to the iToplight system and make Pointguard’s other products smart. The end product, a modern cloud-based solution, will grow Pointguard’s business and will make it easier for their customers to maintain and configure their products.
Benefits of working with BusyMachines