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Kensington is a leader in desktop and mobile device accessories. Over the past 5 years, Mercury helped Kensington with the development of several products such as Kensington Charger, Proximo® Bluetooth® Tracker and Alarm Tag, PresentAir™, and more.
As part of this partnership, we have developed a range of mobile apps for iOS, Android, Windows and OS X that used Bluetooth Low Energy to control and communicate with Kensington smart accessories.
Proximo® is a range of BLE key fobs and tags and the companion mobile app that keeps track of the user’s valuables, warns if they are left behind and helps the users find lost items.
Kensington contacted Mercury with a need to extend their existing Proximo iOS products to Android. The existing iPhone® app was built in-house and relied on native BLE capabilities available in iOS, but for Android things were a bit different.
At that time, Android did not provide any built-in support for BLE, so the team had to rely on a proprietary SDK from Samsung® to deliver the necessary features. The SDK supported only one device - the upcoming flagship Galaxy S4 - and was provided as a pre-release beta version, which was partially unstable making the integration quite complicated.
Another challenge was battery consumption. One of key app features required the app to track signal levels of connected BLE accessories and their geographical location on the map which could easily result in rapid battery drain. As a result, the application had to employ an extremely efficient algorithm to use BLE and GPS data while minimizing its battery footprint.
This called for a team with solid BLE experience and deep understanding of Android internals, so Mercury assigned its leading mobile experts to the task.
In just 3 months, the team has delivered a fully functional Android app.
Joint efforts of Proximo team and the developers from Mercury helped Kensington create a one of a kind product praised by its users and marked with multiple industry awards including 2013 CES Innovation Award, About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Accessory and NAOPA Product Innovation Award.
“This is a great product - not only can I keep track of my phone I have got the tag attached to my keys so when they have fallen down the back of the couch I can easily track them down... before I bought this I was always leaving my phone places and now the alarm on this device keeps me connected to my stuff! awesome and cheaper than buying a new phone or getting a locksmith…”
After a successful release on Galaxy S4 in 2013, Mercury extended the Android application to support more smartphone models through the official BLE SDK from Google in 2014.
In 2015, our team helped Kensington upgrade their existing iOS app to support new device models and iOS versions and delivered a similar upgrade for the Android app in 2016.