Five IoT embedded design tips and tricks
The exploding Internet-of-Things (IoT) market has attracted many companies, large and small, to join the modern-day gold rush. To be successful in this market, it is crucial to establish market leadership and develop a brand. Those who get there fast will win. How should a company position itself and accelerate its speed? Here are five IoT design tips to help you.
1. Develop a roadmap
Developing a roadmap to guide and move the company forward is essential. You may have some ideas about the problems you want to solve based on your core technology and competency. Then start doing research, lots of it, to explore the characteristics of those problems determine how best to solve them. Sometimes you will find that there are already existing solutions on the market. Study them to see if you can do a better job. If there are no current solutions, don’t be afraid to be a trailblazer and develop the first solution. Keep going in this direction and don’t settle for just one niche; pick a few related areas and explore new opportunities.
2. Get some quick embedded design
Having a good idea is just the beginning. To be able to turn that idea into a product successfully is vital. But how do you know if the market will accept it? There is no better way than to actually test the market. The good news is that there are plenty of IoT and RF modules available on the market, both LoRa and NB-IoT. Additionally, there are independent, third-party design and manufacturing facilities available to create fast prototypes to do beta tests. Successful product development is only half of the formula. The other half is market success. Therefore, it is essential to get some quick wins to verify that the strategy is working. The cost of doing a small product run and sales is much lower than finding out that there is no demand after a large product lot is created. The early wins and feedback from these customers will help the company fine-tune new features and correct any shortcomings.
3. Use code generator
Coding software in the IoT can be challenging. Besides needing a process in place, the codes need to be tested and retested to ensure they work. In a rush to meet market demand, there is no time to develop perfect code. Once the revenue stream has been created, getting software resources is no problem. Consider using existing code or code- generation products to get the finished product to market fast. Code generation can be done relatively quickly, and the finished products are usually robust. Using a combination of code generation and off-the-shelf IoT modules, a company can get quick wins to validate business strategy and/or get new funding.
4. Develop use cases
Whether it is a start-up or an existing company trying to enter the IoT market, developing credibility is the most challenging endeavor. That is why branding a company or product is so important. One way to convince prospects that your IoT product/solution is trustworthy is to develop real-life use cases. This will accomplish two things. First, prospects will see that your solution is real, and second, if they are in a similar industry, the case study will attract their attention. IoT applications are vast and cover smart manufacturing, autonomous driving, smart cities/buildings, agriculture, oil, and gas. In developing such case studies, it would be beneficial to partner with someone who already has a reputation in your market segment. By marrying your IoT offerings with those who are experts in those segments, you can brand your company as an expert in a much shorter time.
5. Build or buy
There are ongoing discussions on whether it is better to build everything (hardware, software, and firmware) from the ground up or buy some or all of the solutions ready-made. This often depends if the project is already or if it is an entirely new one. For new projects, it is better to buy IoT components/modules that have already been proven to work and that often already have FCC and other certification in place. This will speed up your time-to-market. One added benefit is branding. If a reputable company makes the module, you can leverage the quality of the module and gain instant credibility. If the project is ongoing and has enjoyed a good market share, then modifying, enhancing or adding to it may be the best approach to take.
The underlying key to success in the IoT market is speed. The above tips will help you develop good products at a fast pace to test in target markets. It’s important to get feedback on your product’s potential success to help create a brand and establish revenue. Partnering with companies who have existing products in IoT applications, can help you gain faster traction in the market. In short, develop a roadmap and go for a few quick wins!