Guide on How to Create an IoT Products

If you take your eyes off this article for a moment, you will probably see some IoT devices around you. Smart devices have become an integral part of our daily lives. Some are wearables, some ar e for smart homes , some help with sports, and others with work. Still, all IoT products have one common feature - they make people's lives easier.

What is the step-by-step process of the IoT products development life cycle?

Problem Definition. Any IoT device is engineered to solve a particular problem. It should not only benefit people but that benefit should be equivalent to or better than the cost. It is essential to conduct market analysis, consider competitors if any, determine the demand volume and potential market size accordingly.

Identify the Target Audience. It is crucial to understand who exactly will use your IoT product and how to make it most suitable for the needs of the particular user. Even small details can influence the reaction of the target audience, so it is important to consider them before releasing the device into the world.

IoT Design Creation. In the era of fierce competition, an Internet of Things device should not only be high-tech , but also comfortable and visually appealing. In the vast majority of cases, these things are placed in residential or office buildings and are used daily. Therefore, we can talk separately about designing the appearance of the device itself and the UI/UX application .

Formation of components. Determining the needed components to create an Internet of Things product. These can be sensors, microcontrollers, connectivity modules, power sources, etc.

Selection of IoT hardware. This includes selecting the appropriate microcontroller, designing a printed circuit board, and selecting the appropriate sensors and connectivity modules. There are various hardware platforms that can be useful depending on the product's needs, such as Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and ESP32.

Identification of necessary sensors. Depending on the project, there may be a need for sensors to measure data such as temperature, humidity, light, or motion. The specific sensors and their needed quantity will be best determined by IoT companies that focus on providing Internet of Things services, such as our Embrox.

Approval of connection method. In order for the device to support Internet of Things, a connection must be added. This can be done through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or mobile data.

Software development. Software is the fo undation of any IoT product. It is necessary to develop both firmware that runs on the microcontroller and software that runs on the cloud server. This allows the device to collect data from sensors and provide information to users.

Creation of a cloud account. In order to store and anal yze the data collected by the device, a cloud account must be created. Platforms such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud offer this capability for Internet of Things.

Sending data to the cloud. Once the code is written, it's time to send the data to the cloud. You can use MQTT or HTTP protocols for sending data.

Prototyping. This is one of the most essential stages. It's important to note that the prototype does not have to be perfect or identical to the final product. The mission of the prototype is to allow testing the product, identifying problems, and fixing them with minimal costs. Here, we also generally advise reading about MVP and its benefits in developing startups, including IoT startups.

Testing and improving. Once the prototype is ready, it needs to be thoroughly tested . Both professional QA and beta testers from the desired target audience can participate in testing. The product needs to be improved as much as possible to avoid losses from manufacturing a defective batch. Also, at this stage, it is possible to track user behavior and use this information in marketing and sales.

Manufacturing. Trying to create your own production lines is possible, but usually IoT devices are manufactured in large factories. The difficulty lies in choosing the best contractor with matching price and quality. Professional support is also significant as even a minor mistake can cost a lot.

Launching to the market. One of the biggest mistakes is to think about marketing and sale s methods after the product is launched. Although this is one of the last steps, it's necessary to plan it already at the stage of identifying issues and the target audience. Therefore, it's crucial to think about positioning, brand image, communication methods, and channels and find platforms where you can receive feedback and improve your product. This is especially important when an MVP has been created, and the next version is based on user feedback.

Support and technical service. Once the IoT product is launched, it needs to be supported and serviced. This includes providing services to customers, solving problems, and releasing software updates as needed. The best IoT device is the one that is constantly being used.

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How to build an IoT team?

Building any team, including an IoT team, is a complex process that requires significant effort. In this case, the high level of technology involved adds to the complexity. An excellent startup idea is worth nothing without quality and often rapid implementation.
In order to build an IoT team, a range of skills and expertise are needed.

Typically, the following roles are needed in an IoT team:

IoT Architect: For the overall architecture and design of the IoT solution.

IoT Engineer: For developing, testing, and deploying IoT devices and systems.

Data Scientist: For analyzing and interpreting the data generated by IoT devices and systems.

Cloud Engineer: For managing the cloud infrastructure that stores and processes IoT data.

UX/UI Designer: For designing the user interface and experience for IoT devices and systems.

Business Analyst: For understanding the business requirements and defining the IoT solution.

Project Manager: For managing the project timelines, budget, and resources.

Security Specialist: For ensuring the security of IoT devices and systems.

Support Specialist: For providing technical support and maintenance for IoT devices and systems.

Having your own team is great if you have the necessary level of competence and resources. However, while creating an IoT solution, it is often more reasonable to outsource either all or part of the work.

The main advantages of outsourcing include  

  • cost savings,
  • access to specialized skills and resources,
  • the ability to focus on core competencies,
  • fast hiring.

You can read more about this in our article. 

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Find the Right Partner for your IoT products

There is a saying, "Either quality or cheapness." Most businesses actively strive to make their product as cheap as possible while still maintaining quality. Accordingly, partner search often follows the same pattern and price often wins. There can be many reasons for this, from a small starting capital to a low market price for the product, which cannot be higher than that of competitors. There may also be purely human factors, such as a desire to save money on everything.

However, the IoT device industry requires careful partner selection. Often, saving money during a certain stage of development can result in additional manufacturing costs. This industry is complex and fragmented, so choosing the right partner requires a thorough understanding of how their solutions and experience add value. Do they have experience working with similar devices? Do they have enough resources and expertise?

It is significant to pay attention to the success of existing cases and, if possible, test them to ensure that the quality is satisfactory. It is also worth noting that if a partner has experience working in your industry, they will spend less time researching and understanding the process. Additionally, if a company has experience working in outsourcing, it simplifies communication and processes, especially if the collaboration is remote.

Therefore, we have highlighted the industries we work in separately on our website, such as Agritech , Energy , and Media , to demonstrate our expertise in these areas.

Statistics

Number of Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices worldwide from 2019 to 2021, with forecasts from 2022 to 2030 

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As a conclusion, it can be asserted that the number of IoT devices in the world is rapidly increasing. Their quality is improving and new Internet of Things technologies that can be used are constantly being created. There are many companies in the world that focus on Internet of Things services and their number will continue to grow.

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