Owen L Brown, Developer in Belgrade, MT, United States
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Owen L Brown

Verified Expert  in Engineering

Firmware Developer

Location
Belgrade, MT, United States
Toptal Member Since
April 6, 2020

Owen is an experienced software/firmware architect and engineer. He has 20+ years of experience developing automation and control systems with an emphasis on mobile app integration using BLE/Wifi/Cellular for consumer IoT and IIoT. He's also an author of an iOS/BLE/PIC book and frequently writes tutorials on RayWenderlich.com. Owen enjoys IoT and wireless control projects ranging from large industrial equipment to handheld devices. He specializes in cross-platform, turn-key product development.

Portfolio

Global Automotive Company
Kotlin, HAL, MQTT, AWS IoT, Coroutines, Android Studio, Mobile Development...
Embedded Engineering Solutions
Nordic nRF52, Slack, Bitbucket, Embedded C, Swift, Xcode, C, Bluetooth...
Freelance Contractor
GPS, Bluetooth, Core Bluetooth, Adobe Illustrator, MPLAB, Embedded C, Xcode...

Experience

Availability

Part-time

Preferred Environment

MacOS, MPLAB, IAR Embedded Workbench, Slack, Jira, Bitbucket, Git, Visual Studio Code (VS Code), Xcode, Android Studio

The most amazing...

...project I've developed was a consumer IoT ecosystem with cameras, sensors, lighting, and outlets marketed at retailers such as Walmart, Best Buy, and others.

Work Experience

Android Engineer

2021 - PRESENT
Global Automotive Company
  • Developed an Android Kotlin app specifically for install on automobile car head units. The app communicates with the car's low-level hardware abstraction layer (HAL) and transfers data to AWS IoT.
  • Designed and built the bulk of the app's base logic and data handlers. This includes user consents UI and logic support, signal read request support, interaction with Car HAL, location handling, car sensor anomaly detection, and others.
  • Developed Kotlin software utility to auto-parse OEM HAL files based on Google HAL standard to generate 'drop-in' Kotlin code and protocol buffer scheme support.
Technologies: Kotlin, HAL, MQTT, AWS IoT, Coroutines, Android Studio, Mobile Development, Mobile Apps, Mobile GPS, Mobile, Location Services, GPS, Mobile Architecture, Software Engineering, Algorithms, Optimization, Memory Management

Senior Architect/Engineer for Mobile Software and Embedded Firmware

2018 - PRESENT
Embedded Engineering Solutions
  • Developed an iOS mobile app and embedded firmware to communicate via BLE for monitoring biometric sensors of human viability and movements. This included a 3D avatar that moves with the actions of the person wearing the sensors.
  • Created user interface using E-Ink display technology and embedded firmware with BLE communication capabilities.
  • Developed firmware for a UPS battery backup system used on large marine yachts.
Technologies: Nordic nRF52, Slack, Bitbucket, Embedded C, Swift, Xcode, C, Bluetooth, Microprocessors, Wireless Protocols, Android Studio, REST APIs, C++, Mobile Development, Python, Architecture, Mobile Apps, Mobile GPS, Hardware, Cloud, Mobile, iOS, Location Services, GPS, Bluetooth LE, Mobile Architecture, Technical Leadership, Embedded Systems, WiFi, Wireless Communication, Embedded Linux, Embedded Software, Firmware, Linux, Software Engineering, Engineering Management, Delivery Management, Algorithms, Optimization, Memory Management, Low-level Programming, Embedded Hardware, Microchip PIC18, Microcontroller Programming, Code Architecture, PIC32, Home Automation

Senior Level Contractor for Mobile and Embedded Development

2009 - PRESENT
Freelance Contractor
  • Designed the control system of medical gurney washing equipment. Developed the app for iOS iPad (Swift) for the user control station with the user log in. Also designed the PCB and embedded C firmware for controlling the unit.
  • Hired as an iOS engineer contractor for the iOS app (Swift) portion of a project for a company that trained special forces for covert surveillance. The application was heavy on UI and image asset manipulation and integration with MapKit.
  • Designed an iPad app (Objective C) for monitoring and controlling a fully automated agricultural equipment. The app gives a full-featured equipment-based UI experience. Developed the equipment's electrical system, PCB, and firmware.
  • Developed three iOS iPad and iPhone apps (Swift) to monitor HRV RRIntervals for professional analysis and training of user stress levels. The iPad app is used in training scenarios for the police force and other teams. BLE comms with HRMs.
  • Built a wearable tech iOS app (Swift) for military-related protective gear with GPS tracking, biometric sensing, and wireless communications.
  • Developed four iPod apps (Swift) with SAP back-end integration. Apps ranged from commercial airline food inventory management to retail store inventory management and included Bluetooth communications with a handheld scanner.
  • Created an iOS phone app for chiropractic device integration and included Bluetooth communication with devices. It has an animated graphic UI indicating the device settings and functionality sequence.
  • Built women's clothing iOS (Swift) companion apps with cloud synchronization to show available clothing and track orders; they provided a connection between retail consultants and customers for LulaRoe clothing (not directly for LulaRoe corp).
  • Developed two iOS (Swift) companion apps for reducing teen drunk driving—one app for parents and another for teenagers. They included cloud sync, face recognition, BLE comms with industry breathalyzer, alerts notifications, and subscriptions.
Technologies: GPS, Bluetooth, Core Bluetooth, Adobe Illustrator, MPLAB, Embedded C, Xcode, Swift, iOS, C, Microprocessors, Wireless Protocols, Android Studio, Model View Viewmodel (MVVM), REST APIs, Nordic nRF52, C++, Objective-C, Raspberry Pi, IoT Security, Mobile Development, Architecture, Mobile Apps, Mobile GPS, Hardware, Cloud, Mobile, Location Services, Bluetooth LE, Mobile Architecture, Technical Leadership, Embedded Systems, WiFi, Wireless Communication, Embedded Linux, Embedded Software, Firmware, Linux, Software Engineering, Engineering Management, Delivery Management, Algorithms, Optimization, Memory Management, Embedded C++, Low-level Programming, Embedded Hardware, Microchip PIC18, Microcontroller Programming, Code Architecture, PIC32, Home Automation

VP of Software Development | Senior Architect

2017 - 2018
Switchmate Home
  • Served as the VP of software development for a team of high-performance engineers specializing in iOS, Android, embedded firmware, and AWS IoT.
  • Automated home control with security sensors and alarms, including video streaming capabilities directly to iOS and Android devices. I was the senior architect of the IoT consumer ecosystem.
  • Contributed to much of the hands-on development of embedded firmware for IoT devices.
  • Oversaw the Jira sprint priorities based on pressing bugs and development release schedules.
Technologies: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Android, Internet of Things (IoT), WiFi, Embedded C, Swift, Xcode, C, Bluetooth, Microprocessors, Wireless Protocols, Android Studio, REST APIs, WebSockets, Video Streaming, Nordic nRF52, C++, IoT Security, Mobile Development, Architecture, Mobile Apps, Mobile GPS, Hardware, Cloud, Mobile, iOS, Location Services, GPS, Bluetooth LE, Mobile Architecture, Technical Leadership, Embedded Systems, Wireless Communication, Embedded Software, Firmware, Software Engineering, Engineering Management, Delivery Management, Optimization, Memory Management, Low-level Programming, Embedded Hardware, Microcontroller Programming, Code Architecture, Home Automation

Switchmate - Home Security and Automation

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/simplysmart-home-by-switchmate/id1345559960
I was the VP of software development for Switchmate products. Their products had many quality control issues in the mobile apps (iOS and Android), firmware, and cloud. I was hired to manage the teams and sort out the technical debt that was causing the loss of major retail contracts.

The product ecosystem consisted of home security cameras, window sensors, alarms, automation of lighting and outlets. It involved iOS (Swift), Android apps, embedded firmware, AWS IoT Cloud, DynamoDB, S3 storage, BLE, WiFi, and many other aspects related to the technology.

I also performed as the primary architect of the ecosystem, designing protocols, and communication flow patterns. On many occasions, I wrote Swift and embedded C code to help with the intense deadlines.

Also, I assisted with the planning of the bi-weekly sprints and repository commit examinations.

iBand-It iOS App

https://www.balebandit.com/model-200/monitor-2/
iOS (iPad) app for monitoring/controlling a large, fully automated agricultural equipment called Bale Band-It. I designed and implemented the app, the interface, the embedded PCB control boards, the embedded firmware and wireless BLE communication protocols along with the electrical system.
The system controls the automation of the equipment's electric-over-hydraulic cylinders and motors. The equipment operates at high speed without requiring user interaction for normal harvesting process.
App Features:
- Provides the user with realtime feedback of equipment's operations and status.
- Logging of GPS locations for harvest analysis with ability to zone calculations into 'fields' and store data for comparison across multiple years.
- Complete maintenance scheduling and alerts system based on equipment usage is available at a touch of a button.
- Full error code system with question/answer troubleshooting view is used to narrow the source of common issues.
- An override remote control view to allow user to manually operated cylinders and motors.
- Performance monitoring graphs and alerts to ensure hydraulic system is properly responding within acceptable parameters.
Note: App graphics were created by a graphics designer.

HRV - Heart Rate Variability Applications

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/hrv-team/id1445600025
A swift-based suit of HRV iOS apps for professional analysis of high-stress occupations such as police force units. Single and team setting monitoring during occupational training while gathering real-time data via BLE.

Realtime display of chart graphics, user setup, CSV export, and event logging.

PulStar Phaser - Integration with Chiropractic Device

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/pulstar-phaser/id1174178728
iOS (Swift) app that integrates a chiropractic custom device via BLE (Core Bluetooth). The app uses Core Data for persisting/viewing the usage history in the database. I developed the iOS app and integrated it with their device.

Guardride Guardian and Driver - Teenage Drunk Driving Preventative

This project is designed to prevent teen drunk driving with parental accountability. There are two apps, one for a parent and another for the teen developed in Swift. There are scheduled breathalyzer tests set up by the parent. The driver app integrates with a BACtrack mobile breathalyzer using BLE and Core Bluetooth framework. Facial recognition (Luxand) is used during the test and a short video is recorded for parental review. Push notifications (APN) tell Guardian app when milestones are missed or failed. The teen is required to test their alcohol level before driving which is enforced by monitoring the teens' movement speed. The apps communicate/synchronize with each other via a remote AWS/MongoDB server.

BRS100: Medical Gurney Washing Equipment

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/brs100/id1157810807
The BRS100 equipment cleans and disinfects medical equipment, such as gurneys and IV poles, by spraying it with oscillating arms. The machine varies the wash time based on the equipment being washed and the cycle being run. I developed the control system and UI.

User Interface: iOS (Swift) iPad app.

App features: BLE connection to Controller board, real-time feedback of machine operations, control panel view for manually operating electric motors and solenoids, visual indicators of sensors input status, animated UI, twist-to-start/resume button, virtual maintained/momentary/toggle control buttons, parameter settings for cycle settings and alarm timeouts, view displaying real-time input/output status, user login permissions with username/ password, cycle history logging/viewing using Realm database framework, CSV exporting of history, built-in PDF user manual, and supports multiple languages: English and French.

Controller: PCB, PIC32 microcontroller, BLE module, eight digital inputs, 11 digital outputs (motors and solenoids), UART coms, SPI, MRAM, proximity switches, level sensors, outputs driven by fused MOSFETs.
The embedded firmware in C using Microchip's MPLab X with ICD3.
I designed the PCB circuit and layout.

Languages

Embedded C, Objective-C, Swift, Kotlin, C, C++, Embedded C++, JavaScript, Java, Python

Frameworks

Core Plot, MapKit, Core Data, Core Bluetooth

Libraries/APIs

REST APIs

Tools

Xcode, Slack, IAR Embedded Workbench, Trello, Bitbucket, Android Studio, Git, Adobe Illustrator, Grand Central Dispatch, Jira, Confluence, Atmel Studio, MQTT

Paradigms

Automation, Model View Viewmodel (MVVM), Mobile Development, Management

Platforms

Visual Studio Code (VS Code), MacOS, Windows, Bluetooth LE, AWS IoT, iOS, Mobile, Eclipse, Android, AWS IoT Core, Raspberry Pi, Embedded Linux, Linux, Parse Server, Amazon Web Services (AWS), WordPress

Other

MPLAB, Microsoft 365, Nordic nRF52, WiFi, Bluetooth, Home Automation, Robotics, GPS, Microcontroller Programming, PIC32, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Code Architecture, Internet of Things (IoT), IoT Protocols, ARM Embedded, Microprocessors, Wireless Protocols, Architecture, Mobile Apps, Mobile GPS, Hardware, Cloud, Location Services, Mobile Architecture, Technical Leadership, Embedded Systems, Wireless Communication, Embedded Software, Firmware, Software Engineering, Engineering Management, Delivery Management, Data Structures, Algorithms, Optimization, Memory Management, Low-level Programming, Embedded Hardware, Microchip PIC18, WebSockets, Video Streaming, IoT Security, HAL, Coroutines, MRAM

Storage

Amazon DynamoDB, MongoDB, Realm, Amazon S3 (AWS S3)

1994 - 1998

Bachelor's Degree in Mathematics

Liberty University - Lynchburg, VA

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