Part 1: An Introduction to designing great products for the IoT

The exponential growth in the number of objects connected to the Internet is changing our world. We know it as IoT – the “Internet of Things” – and its development is increasingly impacting on how we live and work. Here, we look at where IoT is going.

Mark Probert

CSMO
·2 min read (501 words)

Such is the growth of IoT that it’s fast becoming a must-have for companies wanting to add digital presence to their existing operations, services or products. Put simply, any device with an on and off switch can be connected to the Internet and/or to each other. This includes mobile phones, coffee makers, washing machines, headphones, lamps, wearable devices and literally anything else you can think of. Fundamentally, the IoT allows us to control anything, anytime. 

Over time more and more "things" will be connected to the IoT, here are some examples:

In the streets of a “Smart City”:

On “Smart Roads”, IoT can push messages to the driver, or to the automated vehicles:

In “Smart Homes”, controlled by an app running on the user’s smartphone and the home Smart TV:

Outdoors in the “Smart Environment” seeded by rugged autonomous sensors:

In the field of “Smart Health” — at hospitals, care centres, worn as accessories/part of clothing:

At the Enterprise level – in “smart” factories (Industry 4.0) stores, logistic depots etc. – IoT will change the way things are made, stored and moved, providing:

IoT is one of the most exciting developments in recent times. It will impact all our lives and revolutionise the way we interact with the world. But, what makes for a good IoT product, and how do you begin designing one?

In our IoT series of articles over the coming months, we will take a deep dive into the design and development of connected products. With the help of our friends at The Product Partnership which includes a product design company called Realise, who are experts in their field. An electrical design and manufacture company called Cubik and finally, Amalgam who are model maker and display experts. The TPP is Bristol based and has end to end expertise in product creation. 

In our next article we will explore how to design user centric products that hit the mark. Both Newicon and Realise share the philosophy that Design Thinking is key in order to understand problem spaces and identify user needs in order to design products that people love to use and ones that are both environmentally focussed in terms of materials. And of course have connected elements that compliment the physical product and enhance the experience. 

Look out for our next article in the series: 'A Design Thinking approach to IoT product design' – coming soon.


I'm Mark Probert

CSMO at Newicon

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