A common problem with IoT innovations is devices are not designed to be market ready and struggle to prove their business case. But the options available to businesses are growing and help is at hand.
When a healthcare startup needed to realise an innovative new concept for a health monitoring solution for the elderly, it sought help from AND Technology Research, a pioneering UK product development consultancy.
The startup had created a sophisticated algorithm to detect when an eldery person had fallen over, which ran on a sensor to be placed within a person’s shoe.
The idea was this would remove the need for the user to wear or interact with the device, but off-the-shelf hardware made the product too big to fit and therefore unsuitable for manufacture. It was hard to prove the business case to investors and developing a whole new bespoke product would have been too costly.
Using its c2 platform of plug-and-play IoT solutions, AND Technology Research reengineered a low-powered and Bluetooth-enabled design that fitted. It also created an app so it could be used through a smartphone, making the device production ready.
“From beginning to end, that job took us two weeks,” says Dr Nicola Thorn, chief executive of AND. “It meant the startup could show stakeholders a scalable design that could be taken forwards without crippling costs to the startup.”
The number of connected IoT devices, including machines, sensors and cameras, is forecast to hit 43 billion worldwide by 2023, opening up huge commercial opportunities. But many developers feel lost about where to start when bringing new solutions to market and nervous about the risks involved.
Many IoT consultancies charge prohibitive prices to help firms develop bespoke hardware and software solutions, where they build everything from scratch. Meanwhile, do-it-yourself alternatives are usually difficult to turn into viable, market-ready products and often come with
AND Technology Research offers businesses from all sectors an alternative. Its carefully curated c2 platform comprises a suite of fully tested modular tools and reference designs that allow bespoke solutions to be easily built which meet their needs.
The firm then manages the product life cycle of those solutions to ensure they run smoothly for years to come.
“Businesses may feel they need to spend large amounts with consultancies to design their sensors and products from scratch, but too often much of the effort is spent just reinventing the wheel and creating unnecessary costs,” says Thorn.
“Guided by decades of expertise, we achieve the same results for a fraction of the cost by piecing together easy-to-use modules.”
As the IoT market becomes more accessible to businesses, they need to think carefully about how they will invest in and capitalise on digital transformation. Those that cannot turn innovations into minimum viable products ready for the manufacturing process will fall at the first hurdle.
Similarly, if they do not redesign pre-existing products that are under-performing, they will miss out on revenue and efficiency gains.
AND Technology Research has been working in the connected devices space since 1980 and offers a wealth of expertise. By shepherding clients’ concepts from drawing board to market, it removes the hassle and high costs of the innovation process, dramatically reducing the risks of failure.
As more devices are connected to the internet worldwide, competition in the IoT sector will intensify. There is a risk that a handful of well-resourced giants will come to dominate if developers do not tear down the barriers to entry.
By ensuring products have a strong business case from the outset, innovators will give themselves the best chance of carving out a space in this fast-growing market, putting them on a clearer path to success in the connected future.
Promoted by AND Tech