Electrical Engineers- couple questions

Envoy10

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
86
Im wondering how one would go about making a device or prototype out of already existing technology. Example, say I need something with wifi, bluetooth, fm transmitter with video inputs like HDMI all in one. How would you go about doing that?
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
Bring lots of money to any of a thousand prototyping design shops. There are any number of small shops with staff that can do that kind of prototyping and pre-production work. $50-100K can get something like that going. The digital part can be done with FPGA chips like Xilinx without the expense of custom ASIC chips that would be the solution for volume production. For a product that only needs hardware available in a smart phone, just get somebody to write an Android App for it. Plenty of those development shops around as well. I could recommend a few in the San Diego area. But if you're looking for HDMI inputs as well as others, you might just want to prototype it in a micro PC first or a single-board computer.

If you have a unique idea, better to spend the money to patent protect it first.

If you're not looking to sell it as a product, and don't care about size, look into the hardware available in carputers.

Can you give any more details?

If you're on a strict budget and don't mind subsidizing some learning and failures along the way, you might contact local college EE professors if they need student project ideas.
 

Envoy10

Original poster
Member
Dec 4, 2011
86
the roadie said:
Bring lots of money to any of a thousand prototyping design shops. There are any number of small shops with staff that can do that kind of prototyping and pre-production work. $50-100K can get something like that going. The digital part can be done with FPGA chips like Xilinx without the expense of custom ASIC chips that would be the solution for volume production. For a product that only needs hardware available in a smart phone, just get somebody to write an Android App for it. Plenty of those development shops around as well. I could recommend a few in the San Diego area. But if you're looking for HDMI inputs as well as others, you might just want to prototype it in a micro PC first or a single-board computer.

If you have a unique idea, better to spend the money to patent protect it first.

If you're not looking to sell it as a product, and don't care about size, look into the hardware available in carputers.

Can you give any more details?

If you're on a strict budget and don't mind subsidizing some learning and failures along the way, you might contact local college EE professors if they need student project ideas.

Wow those numbers are pretty steep. But your right that all the tech I need is in a smart phone, what I need is a way to talk to the smart phone.(besides creating an app)

Another example would be those obd2 bluetooth diagnostic scanners. The plug in scanners been out for awhile, outside of creating the smartphone app, what kind of process would it be to integrate wireless capabilities? Would you have to completely redo the circuitry even though all that was added was bluetooth and it essentially created a new product? Are circuits patented?

Say I wanted to use my stationary home theater projector wirelessly, it's alittle old. I know my phone has wifi and bluetooth and can use those to send data but my projector doesnt have either or a USB plug. Say I wanted to get ambitious and take it apart, would I be able to add a wifi chip to the existing circuit board someway? Hypothetically, if I was able to, would I be able to sell this new 'product' even though I'm just piggy backing off the circuit it came with?

Hope that made sense, Im just tryna get a grasp on what options I have and how expensive each will be. Definitely right on with patent protection btw.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
Nothing is cheap. Especially patents. Ideas are typically patented with the circuit being an "embodiment" of the idea. Google it.

All of those items you mentioned are already obvious to "practitioners of the art" which is a phrase mentioned in patent discussions.

An App *is* the proper way to talk to and control a smart phone. Why ask for another method? Start by reading here: The Developer's Guide | Android Developers
High school kids are creating apps and making big $$ off smartphone users $2-3 at a time. If you have a unique idea you can't already find on the android app store, start reading and CODE IT. Start today!

Normally, if you have to ask if you can add a WiFi chip to an existing product's circuit board, you can't. Very difficult process and you have to have root access to the device. Just use the existing device's API interface. If you want to add a new input to your projector for instance, use an adapter. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B002BH3ZDY/?tag=gmtnation-20
 

Mark20

Member
Dec 6, 2011
1,630
While its probably not impossible to add Bluetooth to your old projector it will probably not be easy. You have very specific real-time constraints with video and I'm not sure if Bluetooth is up to that. Understand that you may just be using that as an example.

As for patents (I hold three) you can improve upon an existing patent and patent that though you will likely still owe royalties on using the original design especially if you sell it. You can make one for yourself though.

Sent from my Xoom using Tapatalk
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR

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