Ambiquire is the brainchild of Steve Gardner. What began as an initial consultancy business, has now grown into a team of ambitious imagineers who’s aim is to make technology accessible and affordable.
Steve’s specialities lie in embedded systems; communications; networks; and measurement and control, or SMART systems. His early consulting projects focussed on Smart Grid and Smart Metering type applications where many of the separate specialisms were brought together to form highly reliable and cost effective devices. Projects ranged from undertaking feasibility studies through to creating proof of concept and pre-production prototype systems.
During this period of consulting it became apparent of the wide range of applications that would benefit from this technology—ranging from measuring physical parameters of athletes for performance enhancement and injury rehabilitation through to equipment and process condition monitoring. What became clear was that many of the requirements across these different areas overlapped. Almost all usually required the ability to measure some form of motion as a “live” event and to able to transmit that information to a local data collection device over a wireless link.
Knowledge of linear and rotational motions were usually required in various guises, together with some ability to measure magnetic field strength. Understandably, clients were often keen to try to replicate the equipment we had developed for their own private use, subsequent to a consultancy project. However, cost and lack of technical experience were often major barriers for them.
So, the aim became to create a device around a specification that used an integrated accelerometer (for linear motion), gyroscope (for rotational motion) and magnetometer (for magnetic field strength) that could provide a range of readings depending on what parameters are set, and that can be also altered for different applications.Each of the measurements had to have measurements in the classic X,Y,Z axes (degrees of freedom) and so overall it became a 9 degrees of freedom device.
In addition to the technical specifications, clients tended to all want the same features : small, lightweight, battery operated with a rechargeable facility, low power wireless connectivity and a fairly simple data exchange protocol that would allow users to create their own interface on a computer, tablet or smartphone.
Bringing together further specialisms, Ambiquire has now become a team of coders, designers, consultants and engineers all working to make this possible. For us it is clear that to try and create specialist products for every application of this technology would be a futile pursuit—providing other specialists access to the technology is far more productive and cost-effective and will enable innovation and developments from a far greater range of specialities and people.
We are only at the beginning of this journey, from POC (proof of concept) to fully functioning prototypes, we are now pursuing crowdfunding to bring this product to market at a low price to get it into the hands of people who can do amazing things with it.