Connected Devices/Projects/Project Magnet

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Project Magnet is your own, personal user agent for the content that is around you. Instead of getting a list of URLs and you having to browse each link to understand how you can interact with the content, Project Magnet will enable you to have an interactive and friction less experience. The experience will always be fully customizable by you, so you can use it for your maximum enjoyment.

We've just kicked off this project, so stay tuned for details on our next steps, but if you would like to get involved as a tester, developer or adviser, you can get in touch with our connected devices participation team.

Project overview

The Internet is a vast communication infrastructure capable of many different things. The World Wide Web is simply the way we interact within the Internet. The world wide web is what made the internet useful to everybody, rather than just a select few.

The Physical Web has the ability to get rid of all the IOT apps altogether by presenting a much simpler way to interact with our devices. And in fact, it is the exact same thing that the World Wide Web used to harness the internet.

BLE Beacons are one of the vast list of technologies that are cropping up everywhere to support the creation of the physical web, with particularly strong growth coming in Enterprise / Industrial, IoT and connected home, as well as more established markets like retail and personal asset tracking. The arrival of Eddystone is a huge driver here, particularly in non-retail markets, where new signals and features are particularly beneficial.

The aim of Magnet is to create a "browser" for the physical web. Magnet will surface contextually relevant content and actions on the user's favourite smartphone; all of this within the context of the Firefox Browser.

Project vision

"Project Magnet democratizes storytelling so people never miss the nearby stories that matter to them"

Problem statement

  • User: It’s too easy for curious and inquisitive people to miss the fascinating stories around them.
  • Storyteller: It’s too difficult and costly for storytellers to deploy content to physical locations.

Finding a solution for this problem will help us to answer questions as...

  • How can I be notified when I’m near art by my favorite artist?
  • What was life like on this street 100 years ago?
  • What movie was filmed in this location?
  • Who created this street art and why?
  • Where can I learn more about this plant?
  • Can I drink water from this fountain?
  • Where can I buy this musician’s music?
  • Can I still tip this street performer if I don’t have any cash?
  • How does she make these beautiful cakes?
  • Is it safe walking around this neighborhood at night?

Product Overview

  • Mobile Client: Connects people with publishers via nearby experiences.
  • Service & Tools: Enables publishers to deploy content into physical spaces, manage beacons, deployment health, and analyze impact.
  • Hardware: Off the shelf Physical Web beacons, preconfigured to our service for frictionless setup.

Magnet architecture.png

Project status

After London experiments and the findings we got there, we decided that we need to try to upload our application to the stores to remove the installation barriers. At the end of August "Project Magnet" application was uploaded to the Apple Store and Google Play.

We also attended to the View Source conference in Berlin at mid September to run some experiments there, broadcasting schedule content so spur-of-the-moment attendees could quickly and confidently choose how to spend their time. We also give away beacons to the attendees and help them to configure them to try to measure them if that increased the number of interactions that they had during the conference and other possible uses. For more info, check User Insights from View Source

Now Project Magnet has a clearer user-value-proposition: 'Never miss the stories that matter to you'. From View Source we identified some key pain points and a second user: content providers or "publishers" that miss tools that enable them to deploy content to physical spaces. We're addressing the Physical Web content-gap problem by introducing additional content channels (GPS assisted) and an opt-in UX model will give users full control over the content they see (ad/spam/malicious content protection).

We presented the new pitch 0 to the Product Innovation Board on Oct 12th and passed Gate 0 again so from now to end of the year we are working on pilot to help us to validate that the Magnet experience attracts users to try the app and return frequently.

Program Status

Milestone Date Status Status Notes
Formal Kick off meeting 04/13/2016 Done Magnet Kick off
London All Hands Experiments 06/13/2016 Done
MVP review meeting in London 06/16/2016 Done MVP review in London
Working week in MTV to define the Product Plan from Oct 3rd to 6th 10/7/2016 Done Meeting notes during the MTV working week
Meeting with PIB to pass Gate 0 again 10/12/2016 Done Passed Gate 0!!
Client Release with GPS functionality 10/24/2016 Done
Mozfest 10/28/2016 Done
MVP Client ready to be uploaded to the stores 11/23/2016 Done We delayed the uploading until Nov 24th because some issues were detected during the Test Run
User Study to validate the future experience/UX 11/30/2016 Done It starts on Nov 30th and finishes on Dec 2nd
FB landing page experiments to validate Product Market fit 11/30/2016 Done
London Pilot 11/30/2016 Cancelled We would not able to offer an enough compelling experience and attractive MVP client so we decided that it would be better to wait and run a user validation test with some users using a mock up. That would give us better incomes.
Hawaii working week 12/21/2016 Done
Gate 1 meeting with PIB 01/13/2017 Done Gate 1 passed
UX Wireframes for Beta version of the application 01/27/2017 On target First version of the Wireframes will be delivered on the Jan 20th and the following week will be refine them before the Visual work starts
Visual Design of the app finished 03/03/2017 Delayed It should start on Jan 30th. We are still waiting for Visual Design resources so the mot probable start state would be on Feb 20th (4 Weeks delay)
Usability Test 02/20/2017 On target
Street Art content included in the Metadata Server 03/31/2017 Delayed We are still waiting for Content Curator resources (4 Weeks delay)
Beta version of the application (based on the Street Art use case) ready in the stores 03/31/2017 Delayed
Marketing campaign launched during April 2017 Delayed

Status Key

Color Status Key
On Target The project or deliverable is expected to meet its due date.
Challenged The project or deliverable is facing an issue that might cause it to miss its due date, but a “get well” plan has been developed to get it back on track.
At Risk or Late The project or deliverable is blocked or facing an issue that might cause it to miss its due date, and there’s no “get well” plan to get it back on track, or it is already late.
Done The project or deliverable has been completed.
On Hold or Not Started The project or deliverable has either not been started or has been placed on hold.

Archived Completed Deliverables

Deliverable Date Status Status Notes
Magnet Assumptions/Hypotheses 5/03/2016 Done They will be reviewed by the team on 5/04/2016 during our Weekly meeting
Project Magnet: User Research #1 Findings 6/01/2016 Done Hypothesis we started out was not validated but other interesting questions raised from the User Study
Research Plan to be run in London All Hands 6/10/2016 Done The plan was setting up three experiments (Sched, Reduce Anxiety and Personal hook). It consists on sending out communications to CD advertising the experiments, collect people’s contact info to send a survey and interview them after the All Hands week.
Project Magnet: User Research #2 Themes and Findings 7/13/2016 Done
Project Magnet: User Research #3 (View Source) Themes and Findings 9/23/2016 Done
Magnet MVP User Stories and Backlog pre-Gate0 Done
Project Magnet Problem Solution Fit tests in FB 11/16/2016 Done The the problem of people wanting to rediscover their city or discover hidden secrets exists, but we did not achieve high levels of conversion (registrations or downloads) from the landing page. This could either be poor execution on the Landing Page with messages that don't connect to end users, or just lack of interest in getting an app for this problem but not qualitative data around
Project Magnet Technical Analysis 01/12/2017 Done

Program Timeline

Planned Timeline for the Pilot (Post-Gate1)

Magnet ProgramTimeline afterGate1.png

Magnet application release at the end of Q1 has been delayed since we are waiting for key resources as the Visual Design and the Content Curator. The overall project timeline has been adjusted accordingly and at this point, we're running about 4 weeks behind the original schedule. Jan26 updated Magnet timeline.png

Project Management

We use Waffle board for tracking github issues. All ongoing tasks are listed there.

Sprint Backlog

Development process



  • You can find us on, channel #magnet.


We use some agile practices as sprint plannings, weekly meetings, standups in our Magnet vidyo room (External link)

  • Weekly meetings in Magnet Vidyo room on Wednesday at 8:30 AM (Pacific Time). Minutes are gathered in this Google doc
  • Development Sprint Planning meetings (biweekly) in our Magnet Vidyo room at 11:00 AM (UK Time)
  • Sync meetings are scheduled at different time each day of the week, ping us on irc if you want to join and we will send you an invite.

Sprint Demos/Progress Report meetings

Date Presentation Vidyo Recording Notes
6/02/2016 checking #1 Slides checking #1 Video Recording Feedback already added in the Slides
6/16/2016 MVP review in London Not available Feedback included here
7/15/2016 checking #2 Slides checking #2 Video Recording Feedback already added in the Slides
10/12/2016 Gate 0 pitch after pivoting Gate 0 pitch Video Recording Gate 0 approved with caveat to nail down the use cases / segments in one week
11/10/2016 Offline Update Nov 10th -
11/29/2016 Checkin Nov 29th Checkin Nov 29th Video Recording Feedback already added in the Checkin Slides
12/21/2016 Checkin Dec 21st Checkin Dec 21st Video Recording Feedback already added in the Checkin Slides
01/13/2017 Gate 1 Deck and Product Visuals Video Recording
01/27/2017 Meeting notes Video Recording Included in the meeting notes



Getting in touch

  • The best way to get in touch with us is to come and chat in our irc channel channel #magnet of and through Discourse where Participation has created a specific discussion forum for Magnet together with the rest of Connected Devices Trains.