I really would like to see exponential growth of user base for RaceCapture so that ASL team can collect more resources for further improvements and team expansion. I already posted something about it, but it was scattered on github and another forum. So I'd like to summarize it here and have it for open discussion.
My belief is that business model focused on a upgraded paid accounts in the Podium will have best ratio of user base and profit growth.
This model assumes several critical points:
1. Low entrance cost with iterative expandability
2. Wide support of platforms and tasks
3. Rich feature set
To achieve this I would see it this way:
1. Unified expandable core unit at as low price as possible. It could be dual CAN bus only for starters, but it should have WiFi,BT,SPI expandability. Important thing here is to give it enough power to deal with all expansion modules, so plenty of memory, storage and CPU. Cost of 32Gb flash + 1Ghz CPU + 1Gb RAM nowadays is below 10$. Price of module below 100$ would allow to have profit covering operational growth and attractive for newcomers.
2. Expansion modules:
- GPS&IMU (Bosch 9 axis + Venus GPS + supply of steering wheel and wheels data from core unit with Sensor Fusion onboard),
- Basic I/O (8 channel ADC 1 Khz, 8 channel basic PWM I/O),
- Advanced I/O (32 channel 200Khz ADC/DAC with gain settings, advanced onboard filtering and digital/PWM communication emulation),
- Power Relays (8 channel 24V PWM capable on a 100A MOSFETs - those are not expensive now)
- TC/PT/NTC 16 channel 1Khz temperature converter with oversampling filtering.
I would skip telemetry tbh - small android phones can do it more versatile than any embedded 3G.
API for adding more 3rd party external modules easy.
3. Robust Scripting support. This is a key to get developers. More developers - more platform support and features. With fast enough core unit and plenty of memory a lot of things can be done by community instead of core team. Support also means tools infrastructure, plugins, extended API.
4. Customizable dashboard. Not just adjustable, but ability to create complete skins with widgets. This way developers can do neat looking apps without dealing with low level platform specific questions and risks of producing unstable application. Control panels, real-time analysis, sophisticated alarming and control.
5. Podium expansion to:
- cloud log storage, management, analysis, sharing.
- plugins and apps (apps could work with Podium data, not just in-device) marketplace with paid apps options (to get more developers involved)
- this forum and wiki in one place
- better social integration of Podium - discussions, external social networks integration
I know it's a bit late with those proposals now, but it's never too late to think.
What do you think?
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