All Hardware Product Things Hack Chat

We'll be discussing open source hardware, hardware product design, manufacturing in China, security etc.

Friday, May 19, 2017 12:00 pm PDT - Friday, May 19, 2017 12:30 pm PDT Local time zone:
Hack Chat
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Mathieu Stephan joins us in the Hack Chat

Friday, May 19th at noon PDT, @Mathieu Stephan is going to be hosting the Hack Chat.

Mathieu designed the Mooltipass with the Hackaday community back in 2014. His personal website has loads of projects and can be found here.

He's an electronics/firmware engineer who is actively involved in the open source movement.

Specializing in designing products from scratch and alternating between full-time positions and contracting jobs in very different sectors – from quantum physics to formula E cars, he's also been a security engineer for Kudelski and a Hackaday contributor.

In this chat, we'll be discussing all of the following until time runs out!

  • How to design a product from the ground up
  • How to work with people you've never met IRL
  • How to prepare for a crowdfunding campaign
  • How to produce a security device
  • How to design a firmware with security in mind
  • How to manage order fulfillment when your production batch has several thousand units
  • How to design functional tests
  • How to have something manufactured in China

Bring your questions! Here's the sheet to guide the discussion.

  • (edited) Transcript for All Things Hardware Product HackChat

    Sophi Kravitz05/19/2017 at 19:48 1 comment

    Welcome @Mathieu Stephan ! Let's start with an intro

    Mathieu Stephan: hey everyone! so as you may have seen i'm an open source enthusiast who specializes in designing devices from the ground up. i've worked in many many different sectors, alternated between full time positions and small contracting jobs, to quickly gained xperience

    Mathieu Stephan: I've been many times in China, have commercialized around a dozen devices for companies or myselfand I was a writer for hackaday for a year and a half! the mooltipass device started there.

    Mathieu Stephan: should I start answering the google sheet questions? :)

    Sophi: Tell us the story of how the mooltpass happened first!


    Mooltipass Offline Password Keeper

    With time, logins and passwords have become critical elements we need to remember to access the different websites and services we use daily. If we want to achieve good security, each of these credential sets should be unique. We therefore created the Mooltipass, a physical password keeper that remembers and encrypts your credentials so you don't have to

    Frank Buss: The construction looks complicated with a card and an USB device, why not just an USB device?

    Mathieu Stephan: The idea was to make something that anyone could work on, remotely. I had this idea in the back of my head to create an offline password keeper. Luckily no one else had this idea... I made a call for contributors and around 20 people started working on it.

    Mathieu Stephan: The first 20 prototypes were therefore soldered by myself, shipped to the contributors so they could start playing with the first draft of the hardware

    Mathieu Stephan: Then once we had settled on the final hw and GUI layout, we produced a small batch by someone in china, shipped it to selected testers

    Mathieu Stephan: We had fw devs, sw devs, designers, advisors... lots of interesting contributors and testers!

    Mathieu Stephan: @Frank Buss You'll find standard questions answered on our main website here: but the general idea was to use several devices without carrying them around

    Frank Buss: OK, this makes sense, you need just the card, and a device at home, at work etc.

    Mathieu Stephan: yup! you may also find all "developed on hackaday" articles here:

    At the time we were publishing updates every month or so, showing hackaday readers our progress and asking for input... heck, I didn't even choose the name mooltipass.

    If you read all the articles you'll see what you can typically discover when you start making a device... all the good and bad surprise

    Frank Buss: yeah, i've done products for clients and open source, too, I know this :-

    Benchoff: Okay, next question. Because we have to do that eventually. "is there a company that you can give your working product and they'll do all the certification, manufacturing, testing and shipping, and you get just the money?"

    Mathieu Stephan: ... then you realize that you can never imagine what can go wrong. I think seeedstudio or similar will be more than happy to do it for you, provided you accept their quote and fund everything yourself. However you'll indeed need to show a functional prototype and I'm fairly sure they won't risk promising anything more than what you show your product can do. I also think they'll prefer that you deal with the certification or they'll simply forward you the certification center bill.

    arunmages: I am an embedded security guy. While building any hardware product what's your level of priority for security?

    Benchoff: Another question? We have a lot on manufacturing in China.

    Frank Buss: certification, and WEEE in Europe, can be expensive

    Mathieu Stephan: I guess you meant why. Why not? We believe that security through open source is something possible. Level priority of security is a tricky question: anything can be broken provided enough funds. We tried to have the best security/device cost compromise...

    Read more »

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gabrielswgsr12 wrote 05/16/2017 at 15:56 point

Hy guys, I new member

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AVR (lordKiCAD) wrote 05/12/2017 at 21:26 point

and I have to be going to an Altium coference all day that day lolz

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