Smart technological innovation is vital for the continued success, productivity, and agility of many industries. Products and product development are being entirely revolutionised by technology, but with this highly technological approach comes risk.
If you have an idea, or a full concept, for a smart, connected product that you want to bring to market then you’ll know that this is an industry that poses its own set of unique challenges, particularly if you intend to launch these smart connected devices alone rather than with the support of an expert team. Before you explore your idea further, here are some of the common challenges in smart, connected product development that you should know about, and how to avoid them:
1. Ensuring Your Product is Secure
Security should be your number one concern when developing any smart, connected product. We have already seen that any smart product, from weapons to baby monitors, fridges to drug infusion pumps, are susceptible to security breaches. We have seen this susceptibility through attacks on brands such as Amazon and Spotify in the past. For this reason, it is essential to ensure that you incorporate security protocols into your product design to protect your product from any breaches. You should thoroughly analyse your product to ensure that it isn’t susceptible to malicious attacks and that malware couldn’t impact its safety (this is particularly important if you are developing medical products, or home security products, for example). Whilst functionality is important, security should never take a back seat.
2. Wide-Reaching Compatibility
There are many different technologies and systems currently competing to be considered the global standard, both within the Android and Apple arenas. Cloud services and technologies are also ununified and unstandardised, meaning that when designing a smart, connected product you need to ensure that it is compatible with as many different systems as possible. There is no one technological system that is used in cloud computing, so your product shouldn’t be compatible with just one system either. In brief, the more systems it is compatible with, the wider its appeal will be. Some technologies that we are using now will become obsolete in the next few years (meaning any products designed to be compatible with them will be obsolete too) so there is a skill to deciding which systems you should ensure your product is compatible with and which you should leave behind.
3. Focus on a Customer-centric Experience
Giving customers the product experience they expect is vital, which is why it is important that you focus on combining the digital and physical aspects of your design to create something that is intuitive and encourages customers to embrace the product that you are providing. The more a customer is inclined to use your product, the more data you can harness from it. Smart brands that allow theme park guests to enjoy a cash-free experience are a key example of this. This vital information will enable you to better enhance your product and should be included when you are approaching new product development.