The emergence of the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart products has changed our lives, mostly for the better — but it has also made product development and industrial design more complicated. Customer expectations are higher, the competition is increasingly tough, and product portfolio management is much more convoluted.
What’s obvious is that IoT product design is omnipresent today. It operates in what might be regarded as a parallel technological existence, working quietly in the background, turbo-charging our working and home life. Whether your app or product is profit-focused or life-enhancing, its success demands adherence to a completely new set of rules.
Four Central Principles
IoT is based around a group of four central principles: interoperability, transparency, technical assistance, and decentralized decision-making. Of course, developing IoT products takes a degree of know-how way beyond most organizations: it entails Big Data, Analytics, Prescriptive Analytics, and much more besides.
Very often you will need access to experts in short and long-range connectivity who have long experience working with the main protocols: Wi-Fi, NFC, LoRaWAN, BLE, Sigfox, NB IoT, LTE M, 2G, 4G, and more. With ever-increasing competition for technical talent, it’s unlikely that you can handle everything in-house.
Specialists In Demand
Therefore, IoT demands specialists from multiple unique fields. This is at a time when Europe is grappling with the implications of a serious IT talent shortage (according to EY). Let’s say you attempt to venture down the road of recruiting full-timers. In pay negotiations, the narrower the niche, the higher the expert’s bargaining power.
The good news is that with this conundrum, came an equally impressive solution. Organizations are increasingly referring to the expertise of IT and UX specialist companies on the outside. Not only do such agencies (including Shark Design) bring verified experience to the table, but they also provide an affordable service to tech startups.
So when it comes to the much-vaunted Internet of Things, product design agencies will play an important new role: demand for expert telecom services, expert data analytics and cloud website development will only continue to intensify, and that’s only scratching the surface. Design leaders must cultivate new strategies, processes, tools, and best practices to achieve success.
What Users Want
At the heart of everything lies the question: what do your users want? Then you must decide which data you need to measure, and where your connected objects are to be installed. At this stage, it is wise to consult an industrial partner who is equipped to fully support you from the very first tests right through to the mass production of your technology.
The journey begins here.