We started SimpleMotion with a key motivation. We wanted to create the next generation of automation tools that made it simple to move things. Those things might be all the moving elements in a huge arena production or the many little parts of your kinetic sculpture or your blinds opening and closing in response to the temperature.
So while we have been busy this year working on building custom projects, we have also been quietly working away on our own products. As ever, the key thing has been finding the right technology partners and we can't say enough good things about our new friends at Beckhoff. I think it is fair to say that we have pushed them and they have pushed us - and there have been plenty of astonished looks as we make their technology do things no one else has managed to achieve as yet.
The technology will only get us so far. The real fun is thinking about how to move things as if it was a completely new problem. Ignoring how everyone else is doing it and asking the question - If we were inventing automation today, what would we do. And the results are starting to come in. Although still in prototype the SimpleProducts are very different from automation tools you have seen and worked with before.
While we aren't ready to show the end result. I can share with you our key design principles derived from years of working and talking with automation specialists and kinetic designers and artists around the world.
- Modularity - having the right amount of hardware to do the job and being able to easily expand simply by adding another module.
- User Centred - keeping in mind that ultimately people will install, program, operate and design with our tools. Making it a joy to use is our secret sauce.
- Iterative - it is crucial that all our products are designed for continuous improvement.
- Access - making something easy to use can sometimes be confused with making it difficult to get to the complexity. We want to create an easy abstraction layer but also make it trivial to look under the hood.
- In practice - not just using our own products and services but making sure we stay at the coalface as practitioners of automation.
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