The Genie project started following an approach from e-Solutions at the end of Feb 2007. They had a requirement for a computer appliance as part of their Secure Email Service (SES) solution. They also required the hardware designing and developing with finished models ready within 6 weeks to launch at the Info Security show in April of that year at Olympia.
The software that was to run on the Genie was e-Solutions Secure Email Service which enables organisations and individuals to send and receive secure and encrypted email directly from their email client software, such as Outlook, Notes or Webmail. The software and technical team at e-Solutions were happy for Applied Product Design to specify the components, although they did have some specific requirements regarding the data storage, in that it needed to run a very high number of read / write cycles. They also had a requirement that their engineers should be able to have easy access to all the IO on the motherboard, whilst the end user should not.
e-Solutions also required a very versatile chassis that they could put to other uses in the future, by changing some of the internal components ie motherboards, processors, adding other drive options etc. In addition they required the interfacing, sub assemblies and other components required to complete the product ready for manufacture and sale. They also required a manufacturing facility for the Genie once the initial product development had been completed.
Applied Product Design agreed with e-Solutions in the early stages that the chassis should be a maximum of 2U high rack mount chassis whilst being able to accommodate standard off the shelf components. Whilst the chassis was being designed Applied Product Design put together a prototype chassis so that e-Solutions could test the components to check their suitability. The data storage was one of the main decision areas, with flash drives and solid state storage being checked for suitability, but in the end being ruled out on price and reliability at the time.
The chassis design was designed in such a way as to give maximum mounting options for the Genie including 19" rackmount, desk mount and wall mount.
It could also accommodate most ATX power supplies, Micro ATX motherboards, 3.5" hard drives and the option of a 5.25" external device. The protected I/O requirements were also resolved with a panel with cooling in it removed by tamper proof screws.
In order to complete the Genie several sub assemblies and custom cable assemblies were required. These included a PCB assembly and some cable looms for interfacing the various components. An LCD display was also sourced with 4 x 20 characters. Applied Product Design designed these components, made prototypes, and then setup their production using its onsite UK manufacturing facilities. Without these customised components it would have been very difficult to achieve the complete computer appliance that e-Solutions required.
Technical Files and CE
In order that the Genie could be sold into the marketplaces that e-Solutions required, CE marking was needed. For this to be achieved Applied Product Design wrote the technical files for the product and ensured that it met the required safety standards.
Once the design, prototypes and testing had been completed the Genie was ready for production. This we have been undertaking using our onsite UK manufacturing facility. This included designing and sourcing the packaging required to protect the Genie whilst being transported to its many and varied end users.
"We have been very pleased with the design and quality of the Genie which was delivered in a very professional and timely manner. The flexibility in design approach has permitted the Genie to be used for a broader range of projects than first intended. As a customer we have been very pleased with the attitude and approach adopted by Applied Product Design."
Angus Stewart of e-Solutions
Please take a look at our website:- www.e-solutions.uk.com
For more about e-Solutions Secure Email Service and the Genie:- www.e-solutions.uk.com/Portals/4/Product_sheet_-_SES_v2_0.pdf