Phase II of General Tools’ ToolSmart products were recently added to the shelves at Lowe’s. AgilityIO helped implement the design and development of the tools’ software applications. The app is available for download on the Apple iTunes App Store for iOS and the Google Play Store for Android. This marks one of the first successful forays into the Internet of Things (IoT) by AgilityIO in the home improvement space.
General Tools first came to AgilityIO in 2015 with the idea of simplifying the data collection and storage for consumers when it comes to their handy tools. For example, once a upon a time, a person taking a measurement would have to measure with the tape, put it down, and write the numbers on a piece of paper. If they lose the paper, they lose the data. The idea is to create smart tools that link to smartphones using Bluetooth connectivity. ProTool Reviews explains this in their article:
“This foray into app-enabled Bluetooth connected tools is a decidedly huge step forward into the estimating and MRO markets. As more and more of our information moves into the digital realm, manufacturers are trying to come up with new ways to save Pros time when estimating jobs or storing data about room dimensions & volume, inspection video images, complex molding requirements and more.”
AgilityIO was on board.
The first step was to provide a Proof of Concept (PoC) for General Tools. We were confident in our ability in this new area, but wanted to ensure a smooth process. General Tools then took the PoC and pitched it to Lowe’s, securing an exclusive partnership to sell the products at Lowe’s stores. Having the PoC made it easier for decision-makers to see the core functionalities of the app, such as how it captured data transmitted from the tools, and how calculations were made based on the data.
To transform the idea into an actual product, AgilityIO led the UX/UI design and software development, integrating with the Tools’ hardware Software Development Kit (SDK) so that the tool is able to “talk” to the software. SDK refers to the framework of tools that enable developers to create applications, such as iOS SDK, Android SDK.
With the launch of phase II, we have completed our work for the following tools:
- General Tools & Instruments ToolSmart 100-ft Locking Metric and SAE Laser Distance Measurer
- General Tools & Instruments ToolSmart Digital Angle Finder
- General Tools & Instruments ToolSmart Infrared Thermometer
- General Tools & Instruments ToolSmart Video Inspection Camera
- General Tools & Instruments ToolSmart Bluetooth Connected Digital Moisture Meter
While the majority of AgilityIO’s past projects were focused on web- and mobile-based applications, the team was eager to execute on a new type of project, designing and developing for both hardware (the physical tools) and the mobile application.