The greatest challenges knocked out and the right manufacturer found

Dec 26, 2019

The lighting product with versatility never achieved before

You can call it a smart light, a decoration, a desk setup element, but we call it the most versatile lighting product ever created. We wanted to create a wall object that adds special meaning to everyone’s home with different lighting mosaics, displays information, and is as versatile as TIME, so we came up with the SKY - lighting that’s “all in one” and, at the same time, one of a kind. 
You can use SKY to decorate your space, add meaning to your wall with Tangram art, get important information at a glance, decorate your lobby with an innovative informative screen and many more. 
The SKY’s proprietary technology of assembling surfaces in one point only, which wasn’t even closely invented before, makes it possible to assemble light surfaces into elegant and sophisticated mosaics. Also, LaMetric SKY can be transformed into an informative screen to get important information, like time, weather, day, week number, follower count at a glance.

Technological challenges while reaching perfection

In order to achieve the technology of assembling light surfaces in one point only, we had to overcome several serious technical challenges. We wanted to make SKY not only elegant from the outside, but also from the inside to make sure it doesn’t contain any complicated elements. 

Fewer cables - more satisfaction

To clarify the technological changes, first of all, let’s take a look at the setup process of SKY. Once you decide on your perfect mosaic, you should mount it on the wall attaching every cable splitter, connect cable splitters with cables. Then cover them up with light surfaces and plug in the SKY to light it up. As you probably remember, the first SKY prototypes had a cable splitter with four connectors and included two different types of cables.

LaMetric Sky setup process

When we several times tried to assemble one of those prototypes, we realized that different cable types make the setup process not as easy as we would like it to be. In addition, one of the cables was too long and it might be challenging to hide longer cable during the assembling process. Therefore, we upgraded the technology and added two additional cable slots, which allowed us to use only one short cable in order to assemble surfaces. So each splitter has 6 cable slots: 3 on each corner and 3 on sides. Now it's a no-brainer: when you need to combine surfaces via edges - use a slot in front of the side, combine via corners - use a slot in front of the corner. Also, we completely avoided the problem of hiding cables. Now, one-sized short cable perfectly works for all types of connections.

These upgrades help to make the setup process much easier, save lots of time, no dealing with hiding cables inside and eliminate the possibility of mixing something up. 

LaMetric Sky surface with 1 cable type and 6 connectors

Setup at ease with green light indicator

But this was only the beginning. We wanted to make the setup process of SKY as easy as possible. We marked each cable port with a number, so you won’t be confused assembling a mosaic from our mosaic catalog.

In addition, we upgraded the cable splitter with cable marks, that were missing before. So, now, after unboxing, you don't even need to start thinking about where to insert the cables, marks will naturally provide this understanding. Also, we created a green indicator that lights up when cable splitter is connected to power via other splitters. It helps to see whether all cable splitters are connected between each other before covering up with surfaces.

LaMetric Sky splitter with a green light indicator, footprints and port numbers

Satisfaction all the way to your fingers

After we created another prototype, we realized that inserting cables on sharp angles might be difficult for people with bigger fingers. Therefore, we improved the design of cable splitter edges to make the cable manipulations equally comfortable for every person and smoother than ever.

LaMetric Sky surface

Versatility in the mounting

To make the setup process even more user-friendly, we made it possible to mount LaMetric SKY on the wall in two alternative ways. Now, to mount light surfaces, you can use both the adhesive tape or a screw mount, which is possible thanks to the 4 screw holes on a backside of cable splitters.

Recognition technology evolution

Another great challenge for us was the evolution of surface recognition technology, which lasted the whole year. We planned to use the mosaics color code recognition principle during the setup process. But after many tests, this method didn’t seem to work well enough. Due to the different characteristics of cameras on smartphones that were scanning light surfaces, colors couldn’t be recognized precisely in some cases. That’s why we invented a better recognition technology with one color solution. Now, the light surface that’s being recognized with your smartphone, will be highlighted with a blue color, while all others will be red. The huge amount of work we invested in this technology, which improved a recognition process a lot, will make the recognition of different mosaics fast and enjoyable. Now, even the most sophisticated mosaics assembled in one point only will be recognized with ease. 

LaMetric Sky recognition technology

Pixels harmonization

One more challenge during the development of SKY was square pixels formation from triangle pixels to display information. With 8 light surfaces, LaMetric SKY can be assembled into an informational display. And in order to display information at it’s best, the triangle light pixels will be changed automatically into square pixels to make sure all information is readable and pleasurable for the eyes. 

Chasing the first-class manufacturing partner

Since we’ve spent so much time and effort to make LaMetric SKY the most versatile lighting, we had to find the right manufacturer that would bring all our innovations to life. LaMetric SKY is both a lighting and consumer electronics product, that’s why we decided to consider the factories of both specializations.  
Lighting factories, which our CEO and VP Hardware visited, were strong in LED and lenses technologies. However, it’s not their strength to make polished cosmetic parts and producing products with complex electronics.
The consumer electronics factories, on the contrary, had strong experience in complicated electronics technologies and in producing attractive product surfaces but were not good enough in lighting technologies. 
As said before, LaMetric SKY is on the edge of consumer electronics and lighting industries and its’ motherboard is quite complicated. Since our main goal is to achieve the greatest external look and as we already tested the lighting technology internally in our lab, we preferred to work with the consumer electronics factory.

Photo with Chinese partners

After coming back home and analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of visited factories, we signed a contract and started working on the first batch of products with the most suitable partner.

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