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Internet of Things: Make your own device

Learn how the Internet of Things is being fueled by a new era of smart connected devices, in the home, at work, and on the go.

Overview

As an unprecedented confluence of capabilities creates new opportunities for companies and manufacturers to develop electronic products that incorporate cutting-edge technology, many enterprises are now taking advantage of the Internet of Things and exploring a “Make Your Own Device” (MYOD) concept.

Although the technical building blocks for MYOD are firmly in place, companies need to have a solid business case for embarking on such product development, determining use case, features, design elements, budget issues, and more.

Background

Increasingly powerful, portable and inexpensive smart machines have reached beyond the computing industry to transform mainstream businesses.

Indeed, such technology escaped the desktop and made its way into our pockets several years ago and is now all-pervasive, with even the simplest of consumer devices featuring LCD displays and some form of wireless connectivity.

Furthermore, the GSMA, an association of mobile operators, estimates that the current 10 billion connected devices will more than double by the end of the decade to 25 billion.

Analysis

Advancements on three key fronts have rewritten the rules about how companies can incorporate technology into new product development:

  • Social: Computer technology has become increasingly smaller and simpler, which has ensured there is greater acceptance and understanding of technology in daily life.

  • Commercial: Microprocessors and networking chips are less expensive than ever.

  • Technical: Beyond cost considerations, reduced size, less heat, and lower power requirements make it possible to embed processors, sensors and ever-smaller storage devices almost anywhere.

In short, computing technology is on its way to becoming not only invisible, but also ubiquitous.

Recommendations

When considering the MYOD space, companies and manufacturers need to understand their desired outcome. Is the goal of the device to generate revenue? Brand awareness? Forge an ongoing relationship with its customers?

Once companies have identified the use cases for such devices, they should consider features, design elements and budget issues throughout the life of a product. This is where the process gets more challenging, since there are still numerous issues to wrangle over regarding design, production, and maintenance and support.

Design Phase:

  • Custom versus off-the shelf

  • Open source versus proprietary

  • User experience

  • Personalization

  • Storage

Additional Questions:

  • How and where will the device will be produced?

  • What regulations should be followed pertaining to components or end-of-life disposal?

  • How will they be tested, both separately and when connected to back-end systems?

  • What is the distribution model and post-sales support structure?

 

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