With a functional code and prototypes, my next goal is to have lots of Fochicas installed in cars. For that, two things need to happen. First, the device needs to be made more accessible to the public. Let’s face it, typical parents don’t know how, nor are they going to solder some components together. Even as an “install it yourself” product, some parts still need to come pre-assembled and manufactured at scale. Before going there, I want to make sure I have a design that is simple and cheap to make. Therefore, current goal #1 is simplicity. Here are some examples of things that I have changed or changes that I have evaluated recently:
- Switching from an Arduino Uno to a Nano for smaller size and lower cost;
- Evaluating off-the-shelf power adapters to simplify Fochica board design;
- Switching to a buzzer that is driven directly by a GPIO pin through a resistor to remove a transistor from the BOM;
- Switching from an Arduino Uno to an ESP32 for integrated BLE functionality.
With a new, simpler design I will manufacture a batch of Fochicas to give away on a wider scale as part of the beta program. Fortunately, the recently awarded $1,000 prize Fochica won in the Hackaday contest (thanks HaD and Supply Frame!) makes that possible.
The second thing that needs to happen to make Fochica more accessible to the public is to let the public know about Fochica. This makes marketing goal #2. If you can help and spread the world, please do! It really helps a lot.
In parallel, I am submitting Fochica to the Assistive Technology round of the Hackaday Prize. Fochica is designed for children but can also be used to help the disabled, pets or others under the charge of caregivers. Hoping to win additional funds that can be used to build more devices and hoping to get more online coverage about the project.