Interview with Steve Tyson, from Cambrionix.

Cambrionix’s Founder/Director, Steve Tyson, talks to TeckComesFirst about the meaning behind the brand name, logo as well as the intelligent engineering in their Home/Office charging station and more.

 

 

 

 


1)   Can you introduce yourself and say what you exactly do at Cambrionix day to day?

My day to day role within Cambrionix involves dealing with customer technical enquiries, discussing our products on a technical level with potential customers and partners and pushing forward the development of new products for our portfolio and identifying market opportunities.

2)   What is the meaning behind the brand name “Cambrionix”?

The name Cambrionix comes from a combination of the words “Cambridge” and “electronics”.  The logo design came out of our love of Star Wars – we nicknamed it the Deathstar.

3)   What is/are your biggest accomplishments?

We started Cambrionix in June 2007, just as the recession was starting.  Our biggest accomplishment is probably managing to survive throughout this economic hardship and grow greatly throughout those years, whilst having two small children.

4)   What was the inspiration behind the home/office charging station and do you have any pricing/availability to share?

We have a fair few gadgets at home and one day I had no room to plug my kettle in – therefore the Series8 was born!  Price wise, they retail at £199 +VAT.  If you’re interested, please ring us at 01223422249 to discuss availability.

5)   What challenges did you face in making the home/office charging station and how were these overcome?

The major challenges included developing a stable consumer product which is not only suitable for charging all USB chargeable devices as fast as possible but also looks great. Chargers are typically quite boring and not something which you can proudly display, we have changed this conception with our series8.

6)   Could you share some insight into the “intelligent engineering” that allows the device to detect the exact voltage of the device that’s plugged in?

We use some pretty clever firmware which runs on our internal microcontroller. This firmware runs a few power tests on the attached devices to determine the fastest way to charge the device. Its proprietary firmware and we don’t want to say too much!

Needless to say, the ‘very intelligent charging’ tagline is well deserved given that we are compatible with an enormous range of devices and are constantly increasing this level of compatibility via our free firmware updater application available on our website. Our ‘very intelligent charging’ firmware is included in the vast majority of our products.

7)   How does the “party mode” feature work, is there a microphone built into the device? If so, how else could this microphone be used to develop the product further?

Yes, there is a microphone within the device. We have some spare processing time within the Real Time Operating System (RTOS) running on our microcontroller; this allows us to do some ‘other’ things. We decided that we could make neat use of the LED front panel to make the product a little more visually appealing and a bit more of a talking point.

We receive the audio via the microphone and perform a basic Fast Fourier Transform (FFT); this then gives us the audio levels at various frequencies. We can then display the level of audio at specific frequencies on our LED front panel. Low frequency on the left moving up to high frequency on the right.

8)   What’s your opinion on wireless charging and could we see this implemented into future Cambrionix products?

Cambrionix is actively working on wireless power designs at the moment. We don’t see it being a competitor to wired charging at the moment since it’s both low power and also requires a close coupling between the device and the charger. It also means the mobile device needs to stay in one place whilst charging, at least with a cable you can still pick up and move the device.

Naturally, we are going to put our own ‘spin’ on wireless power products we release to our OEMs.

9)   Are you guys looking into other variants of the home/office charging station, perhaps a bigger/smaller one with more/less USB ports respectively?

We are constantly refreshing our product range and have many more products which aren’t available on our website and are designed specifically for our OEMs and partners.

For the series8 we are going to stick with 8 ports for the time being. We think this is a sweet spot for our target market.

Steve Tyson, Founder/Director of Cambrionix.

Steve Tyson, Founder/Director of Cambrionix.

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Thanks to Steve Tyson for participating in this interview. Questions were chosen by both co-founders of TeckComesFirst; Purav and Usman.

Feel free to share in the comments below what you thought of this interview as well as anything new or interesting you learnt about the company.

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I’m a 23 year old Maths Graduate, who has a great passion for technology and in my spare time I make videos on YouTube to show my passion. I'm also co-admin here at TeckComesFirst and I joined this site back in January 2012.
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