Given the enthusiasm of consumers, many leading companies and startups will want to invest in manufacturing of connected objects to take advantage of this opportunity. But before getting started, they should be careful not to make any mistakes when creating their product. Here are three to avoid, so as to ensure commercial success.
Making a highly complicated design
Of course, the connected object must be visually appealing and distinct from others. So, an effort must be made in this direction but the object that will attract most customers is the one that’s simplest, not the one that offers a multitude of functions and requires following a long list of instructions to be able to get it up and running. For example, the Nest Learning Thermostat can be installed by user in less than 30 minutes and then it automatically programs itself according to the habits of residents of the house.
Since most people are familiar with smartphone application environment, manufacturers can integrate the more complex tasks of an object with a mobile application and display on body (through LEDs) only the essential information. This way, a user can get the best of both worlds as he will be able to quickly understand the functioning of the object and its use on a daily basis will also be equally simple.
Many people must have heard the story of these ‘hackers’ who had managed to take control of a baby monitor in Texas. Moreover, any object called intelligent and connected to internet can be found and monitored through search engines like ShodanHQ. Cybercriminals can thus control the opening of our doors, security of our homes or even monitor us directly through the webcam of our TV. And what about the personal data shared by these objects? Recently, CNN reported that recorded voice messages spoken to CloudPetToys teddy bears could pose risks to privacy of children. Some security vulnerability allowed anyone to view personal information, photos and recordings of children’s voices from these toys.
While the customers are increasingly losing control over their privacy, manufacturers of connected objects must give full guarantee of the security of their products so as to reassure customers.
Poorly adapted power supply
Ensuring the product's power source is well-adapted is essential. When a consumer needs to use the object for a long period of time and in the meanwhile the object requires to be plugged in every hour, it will frustrate the user who will eventually stop using it. Also, a connected object that turns on only once or after every 24 hours to transmit data will not have a very high energy requirement but it may not suit user’s requirement.
Depending on the functions, the type of measurement to be carried out and its level of accuracy and the frequency of data transmission, the parameters to be considered in designing the connected object will vary greatly. For instance, whether the object includes GPS or not, whether it gives out a message every ten minutes or once in a week- these are some of the factors that determine how much power is required.
For manufacturers, power source can be a constraint during product-designing. They must therefore find the power source that’s not only best suited to their product but also convenient for customers.