What was your time schedule?
HH: We drew up a very ambitious schedule, which we also kept to. The system was developed in two and a quarter years, the aim was to present it at the Light + Building 2002. This was already an achievement when you consider the amount of device components requiring custom-developed software. You don't manage that five times in your life.
Because of the lack of sleep?
HH: We worked on it day and night, also at the weekend. On the other hand I also have fond memories of this time, because it's not everyday that you manage to pull off this kind of achievement in a team.
AD: I had a similar experience. Luckily, my family were very understanding when my thoughts were often on the project. That was an exceptional situation. What problems did you struggle with in particular? How did you
get to grips with the issue with the hands-free system, for example?
AD: Eventually we got to grips with the problem by creating an electronic voice-operated switch, although that wouldn't have worked at first, according to the application as per the data sheet. We also had problems with the illumination of the call buttons. Eventually, we opted for LED technology with light conductors, as is common today. Back then, however, this was not yet widespread for door intercom systems.
HH: The limited memory of the microcontroller, among other things, kept me occupied for quite a while. We only had two kilobytes of memory available for the implementation of the door communication firmware and this was simply not enough. One device was at 105%. And when you have optimised software for the fifth time already, it becomes increasingly difficult to find something else that can be optimised. In this case I sat down for a whole week looking for code that I could save.
How did it feel when the system was actually ready for the presentation at the trade fair?
AD: This was of course a fantastic appearance at the Light + Building 2002. When the customers arrived, at first there was a crowd of people at the presentation walls, it was jam-packed, you couldn't get through. People loved it, this was the impression from many conversations. Especially since we had directly demonstrated the video function.
This is certainly a quite emotional moment when you see your own baby on the market, isn't it?
AD: There is a certain euphoria.
HH: Yes, baby is the right word. It's like bringing up children and is associated with pain.