Connected Product Design
Device – Networking – Control
Leveraging extensive connected device and IoT app development experience, Cardinal Peak empowers clients with the ability to quickly design products that seamlessly integrate with mobile applications and cloud systems. By their nature, connected products are complex systems requiring detailed knowledge of communication protocols, security standards, data collection, edge AI/ML and analytics. As many connected devices are high volume, designing to minimize both the device BOM and the long-term cloud costs is crucial. The Cardinal Peak team understands those requirements and possesses the skills and experience necessary to develop devices that can thrive in today’s networked ecosystems.
Our deep connected device and development expertise ensures your connected product will be intuitive to set up and use while maintaining security. We have worked with major IoT platforms and component suppliers, and our experience can help you reduce both cost and time to market by appropriately leveraging existing technologies.
Our Case Studies: Connected Product Development
As a top connected device development company, Cardinal Peak supports innovative connected device designs, including the projects below. If you’re looking for a partner to help with your connected device development, including connectivity, cloud, edge AI/ML and IoT app, contact us today.
FAQs About Connected Device Design
What are the steps in connected products development?
Once you have settled on the high-level features for your new product, it’s time to start the engineering process.
- The first step is requirements refinement and high-level architecture. In this step, there is a back-and-forth exchange between the product owner(s) and the engineering team as various potential solutions are explored in terms of estimated BOM cost at the anticipated production volume and the NRE cost. From this stage emerges refined requirements, a high-level architecture, development schedule/budget and the estimated BOM cost.
- The next step in the engineering process is the implementation. For a connected product, this can include device engineering (mechanical package, electronics and embedded software) and the development of a cloud application and a mobile/web app for end users.
- Typically, the development schedule is compressed by running the major tasks in parallel, so mechanical packaging, electronics design, embedded-cloud-mobile software development are happening at the same time as much as possible. Several tricks are used to allow teams to work in parallel, including using development kits while the real hardware is being designed.
- Generally, test applications are created so that embedded, cloud and mobile teams can test their code while waiting for other teams to develop their applications. Often the hardware is the “long pole” in the schedule, as creating injection molds and manufacturing a set of circuit boards involves lead times for components and manufacturers. As the product takes form, test harnesses are replaced with the real code and QA can test the end-to-end system.
- Eventually, the product reaches a state of “feature complete.” Around this time, alpha testing with “friends and family” is coordinated and managed by the QA team. Defects are identified, disambiguated and prioritized for the development team. When ready, beta testing starts with a small set of customers. Again, QA manages the process and identifies and categorizes the defects for the development team.
- The product manager prioritizes which defects need to be addressed by product launch to meet the minimum viable product. Similarly, the product manager reviews the customer feedback to identify features that may be working correctly (per the requirements) but do not meet the customer’s expectations. Some features may be adjusted based on customer feedback and others may be added to the list of future updates after product launch.
- Finally, the product launches. Based on customer feedback, tweaks to the software are made and released on a regular basis for the first couple months. At this point, the update cycle slows down since there are unlikely to be any urgent issues. Updates are scheduled and specific product improvements are added to the queue for each update cycle.
Should we use a cloud solution like AWS IoT Core for our connected device development?
There are several factors to consider when deciding to use AWS IoT Core or one of the IoT platform services like Tuya, Ayla Networks or others. The most important question to answer is whether you are looking to develop a differentiated product or looking to plug your device into an existing ecosystem at the lowest possible upfront cost.
If you are looking to create a differentiated product that you can customize in novel ways or integrate with other systems, then AWS IoT Core (or Azure’s comparable offering) is your best option because Amazon provides countless tools to speed your development and manage your operations. You will never get painted into a corner, as you have infinite flexibility with either AWS or Azure. If you are developing a standard IoT product, such as a Wi-Fi switch, then you might want to look at the IoT platform that best supports your specific product since the platform provider can offer white-labeled apps and speed your development.
What is a connected device design compared to connected product development?
Connected device design is focused on the design of the gadget or thing. It includes mechanical and electrical designs as well as embedded software. Often RF design experience is required in connected device design.
Connected product development, on the other hand, includes the development of the systems to which the device is communicating. For example, a cloud application and an end-user mobile/web application.
Connected Engineering Design Resources
If you’ve ever wanted to turn your lights on/off using either a physical switch running Zigbee or by a BLE application on a smartphone, keep reading to discover how you can build a connected home lighting device to do precisely that.