Lightship RV + a connected app: Transforming road trips for the electric age
ArcTouch and Lightship created a connected app for complete control of this first-of-its-kind all-electric RV.
A connected IoT app that offers complete control of the Lightship L1.
Set the mood
Adjust the lights, dim the shades, check the power, and much more.
Ready to roll
Raise and lower the aerodynamic canopy with a single tap.
"ArcTouch helped us deliver an app that looks and works beautifully — so you can easily control your Lightship and enjoy your outdoor adventure."
— Toby Kraus Co-Founder & CEO
Lightship came to ArcTouch to design and build a connected application to control the interior and exterior of its first-of-its-kind all-electric RV. Arriving in 2024, the L1 is loaded with innovations — from its sleek design to its solar charging system that helps power each trip, to the cabin’s many modern features.
While solar energy and electric power are the center of the L1’s systems, the company wanted its Lightship app to be a focal point of the user experience — helping to modernize the road trip for the digital age and supporting the company’s mission to reduce the environmental footprint of traveling. Lightship needed an elegant and responsive app to help showcase their revolutionary electric vehicle — with an architecture that is flexible and scalable to evolve with the product lineup as it advances over time.
ArcTouch’s IoT app team designed and developed a custom Android tablet app to serve as the primary control system for the interior and exterior of the RV. Those controls include:
- Lights: Dimming, and color adjustments for interior and exterior lights.
- Climate: Heating and air conditioning control.
- Awnings: Retract or extend sun shades and awnings.
- Canopy: Raise or lower the canopy for more aerodynamic transport.
- Leveling: Adjust the RV feet to offset for sloping terrain.
- Windows: Adjust tinting on windows, from clear to opaque for privacy.
- Doors: Lock and unlock the doors.
The app also allows you to monitor:
- Power: Solar panel status and electric drive power levels.
- Tanks: Grey and black waste, and water levels.
- Rear camera: See what’s happening on the ground outside.
This connected app helps complete the whole product experience. Furthermore, an app provides Lightship with more agility in the production process. Lightship doesn’t need to design and build costly physical controls that can slow down manufacturing. As EV leaders like Tesla have shown, changes made in software can be rolled out almost instantly to improve the user experience.
Knowing modularity was important, our team also built the app to scale easily and evolve over time. Just one example: Working closely with Lightship’s firmware team, we specifically chose the MQTT protocol because of its responsiveness, scalability, and versatility. Known for its performance in mixed IoT environments, MQTT gave our team the ability to control a combination of devices for the L1 — along with an architecture that will allow the app to evolve with the introduction of future Lightship models.
The initial release for this app was during the Lightship launch event at SXSW in March 2023. We’re proud that Lightship was a finalist for the SXSW Innovation Awards design category.
And our client is thrilled with the work the ArcTouch team continues to do:
"ArcTouch helped us deliver an app that looks and works beautifully — whether you’re raising the canopy, adjusting the lights, or checking power levels,” said Toby Kraus, Lightship co-founder and CEO. "The app efficiently brings all the key info to your fingertips — so you can easily control your Lightship and enjoy your outdoor adventure."