From 2014 to 2016 I worked at iCracked in Redwood City, California, on the Ocean project. I was overall leader on the project.
Ocean was a combined hardware and software project, with the aim of bridging the gap between mobile phones and desktop computers. At the core of the project was a small handheld general purpose computer that we designed from scratch. The computer ran Ocean OS, a custom OS, along with a lot of custom software. We also built a suite of cloud software to support the devices: a core api, and various web and iOS apps. The complexity of the different pieces of project was - at times - difficult to deal with for our small team. But we got there in the end, shipping the product out in 2016.
Our initial unique selling proposition was that you could put several Ocean devices in an office, and then you could instantly manage any mobile phone or IOT device in the office. It could also detect potential intrusion threats or blacklisted devices.
Ocean was also billed as a mobile computing platform, designed to interact with mobile phones in whatever way possible. The primary interest was that iCracked's 5000 strong iTech network would carry an Ocean with them, and use it to automate various tasks on the customer's iPhone. These tasks included backups and restores, detecting hardware errors on the device, and so on.
The scope of this project was vast, and very technically challenging for me and the people on the team. The overall architecture was pretty similar to many other hardware devices on the market today, but that did not mean any of it was easy. There is no playbook to follow when trying to create a hardware product from scratch!