Technology Consulting and Baby Monitoring App Development for Dorel

Intelliarts delivered tech consulting services to make a baby monitoring application more stable and sustainable, which turned into a long-term collaboration on custom software development.

Solution Highlights

  • Delivered technology consulting services with a detailed roadmap for modernizing app infrastructure
  • Updated project dependencies to the latest version, so the product became more up-to-date
  • Refactored the product source code to make it sustainable and prevent the app crashes
  • Increased the app rating from 3 to 4.5 stars on App Store and Google Play
  • Solved the customer’s pain point of product non-scalability caused by poor infrastructure and code quality
Safety 1st Baby Monitor
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About the Project

Customer:

Dorel Juvenile Group is the world’s leader in designing and manufacturing juvenile products. The company has built its reputation by producing a suite of nursery products and smart home devices, and that’s why it launched an internal startup project devoted to baby monitoring products. The Safety 1st monitor streamed live video in sharp HD quality and sent users notifications based on motion and sound detection at the nursery.

Challenges & Project Goals:

The customer experienced periodic malfunctioning of the WiFi app for baby monitoring after releasing the first version of the product developed by another third-party vendor. Since the solution was designed for child surveillance, Dorel had an urgent need to improve its quality, so there weren’t any safety issues.

The goals of the project were:

  • To solve the problem with scalability since, at this stage, developing new features took the company too much time because of poor architecture and the relatively low code quality in the first product version implemented
  • To address the app reliability issues, which resulted in the app’s low rating on App Store and Google Play and affected the overall product sales
  • To add the new features originally planned by the customer, having that scalable and reliable architecture and code quality in place

Solution:

Intelliarts provided end-to-end product consulting services and found the optimal solution for the product performance challenges experienced by the customer. We created a vision and implementation roadmap for Dorel to make its product sustainable and scalable.

Starting with tech consulting, our cooperation continued with custom software solution development. Our team of engineers helped the company release the next versions of the product, with regard to all the previously given recommendations for architecture redesign. 

Business Value Delivered:

  • At the tech consulting stage, we performed due diligence, assessing the existing product from the technology viewpoint. We presented the company with a set of recommendations about code refactoring, architecture redesign, database schema optimization, data flow, and processing. All of these were to improve the app’s performance and make it possible to scale the baby monitoring system.
  • At the development stage, Intelliarts released the product’s next versions, extending the functionality of the Safety 1st monitor. Our team of technology specialists modernized the application architecture and codebase and implemented required infrastructure changes so it became technically possible to develop new features that Dorel originally planned. The product’s next versions received a 4.5-star rating on both App Store and Google Play, which in turn significantly increased the product sales volume.
Location: US
Industry: Manufacturing
Partnership period: May 2019 — Nov 2021
Services:

Technology Consulting, Software Engineering

Expertise:

Cloud Services, Big Data, IoT

Technologies used: Java, AWS (EC2, S3, SNS, SES, Elastic Beanstalk, Cloudwatch, RDS, SQS, SES, and Athena), Spring Boot, iOS, Android, Swift, Kotlin, Firebase, and Mixpanel
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Technology Solution

The project was completed in two phases: technology consulting services and custom software development.

Product consulting services

Intelliarts started with technical due diligence where we completed the solution technology analysis, checked modernization and scalability options, and assessed the architecture. We provided the customer with the results of our evaluation and emphasized the need for

  • Code refactoring to restructure the code and improve its quality without changing the original functionality and, hence, make the application more stable and sustainable
  • Redesign of the solution architecture and database to make it possible to add new features to the baby monitoring product

We then summarized our results in a detailed roadmap describing the steps how to make the product future-proof. Intelliarts advised on specific technical requirements such as moving to the newer Java version, database schema optimization, and setting up the monitoring system so the next versions of the Safety 1st monitor corresponded to Dorel’s business goals.

We estimated the amount of effort needed to get a stable version of the current product and develop new features. Our tech consultants also provided recommendations on the required engineering team structure to make those changes most effectively.

Custom software solution development

Our engineers worked side by side with the customer product managers to release the new versions of the Safety 1st monitor with the new features originally planned and much better performance. As the project progressed,

  • We moved from Java 8 to Java 11, which was a big step forward for the product company. The project became more up-to-date. Also, the development process became faster because newer frameworks, compatible with Java 11, became available to engineers, and they could develop the product using newer technologies.
  • The Intelliarts team modernized the database structure, which couldn’t process the number of real-time events received. To improve the database performance, we reorganized indexes and reconfigured the storage. We also added an extra layer of events preprocessing.
  • By upgrading the overall solution architecture and modernizing the codebase and database, we made the monitoring application stable — we prevented it from crashing and becoming unavailable to end users.
  • By making improvements to the application architecture and codebase, we also made it possible to release the new functionality as originally planned by the customer. Among the features we developed, there was night vision, the sharing possibility, temporary access to caregivers, and a number of others.
Tech consulting for Dorel Juvenile Group: baby monitoring app
  • There also was the element of integration with the third-party service. A third-party company was responsible for storing and streaming large volumes of video content shot by the cameras. Our task was to download a video fragment from the streaming service, upload it to the AWS S3 storage, and show it to the end user upon request.
  • Within the scope of this task, we also worked on configuring temporary and permanent video storage for the user to be able to save their favorite moments from the videos. We automatically deleted unnecessary fragments for cost optimization.
  • We advised the company to add an application monitoring system so it could track product performance and intervene faster if any issues arise. Our team of engineers added visualizations and dashboards that showed when the application backend reached the resource limit and notified all the parties via SNS service to react timely.
  • Intelliarts team also ensured the Safety 1st monitor was GDPR compliant, which was important for the company to stay transparent about their data processing practices.

Business Outcomes

With the help of Intelliarts, Dorel was able to release the new versions of the baby monitoring product and win the hearts of existing and new customers. We helped the company solve the performance issues that arose in the first version and make the application stable and scalable. As a result,

  • The application stopped crashing, and the end users became happier
  • The project became more up-to-date since we updated all its dependencies to the latest version
  • The company received more positive feedback and better rating on App Store and Google Play — in one year of cooperation, we helped the company grow its rate from 3 to 4.5
  • A number of new features were added, such as night vision or the sharing option, etc.
  • The project won the Family Choice Award in 2021 and Cribsie Award in 2020
  • We also improved the development processes — for example, by making the development faster and easier with new frameworks and technologies and adding the monitoring dashboards, which allowed reacting to any performance disruptions faster
  • In the latest half a year of our cooperation, we provided Dorel with maintenance services so they knew they could contact us anytime if they needed some feature development or technical support
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