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December 18, 2018 - No Comments!

IoT Market in 2019

The position of IoT strengthens year by year. It won’t stop growing in 2019. ITPro predicts that the number of devices will grow up to 3.6 billion (link). Basing on our experience and signals from the market, we would like to present 5 forecasts for the development of the IoT market in 2019. Let's start!

5g networks will change the approach to connectivity

So far, most IoT devices have used Wi-Fi or Bluetooth technology to connect with the world. This especially applies to the devices designed for individual customers - new washing machines, refrigerators, ovens and lighting used these protocols.

However, what was enough for home solutions did not always suit the needs of professionals. Industry 4.0 devices was either based on a cellular network (interestingly very often 2G), or it used new communication standards (such as LoRaWAN described earlier). Each of these solutions has its drawbacks though - the 2G network consumes too much energy, which is important especially in the battery-powered devices (eg intelligent road signs, sensors in the oil fields). LoRaWAN requires the preparation of your own access point with internet connection.

The 5G network solves both problems. It introduces new, energy-saving standards that will be available everywhere where is the 5G network coverage. More information on the impact of new standards on the development of IoT can be found in this Forbes article.

IoT Healthcare market will increase significantly

As we wrote in our recent article, the health services market will be more and more willing to reach for IoT solutions. We already use glucose meters and insulin pumps equipped with Bluetooth. More and more often, distance cardiac care is also being discussed. For example, the Polish company Telemedical Innovations is preparing a special device designed to perform an ECG in home. (http://telemedicalinnovations.com/?page_id=45).

Market predicts that the need for such solutions will double between 2017 and 2018. The development of RTLS (Real-time locating systems) systems, which can be installed in hospitals and other medical facilities, is also extremely important. This approach will improve the logistics and management of the trade of medicines and other medical equipment, which can bring significant savings.

Smartcars will go to the road

Recently, Waymo (a company belonging to Alphabet - a group of companies originating from Google) has started tests of autonomous taxis. Other companies - such as Uber or Lyft are testing their autonomous vehicles all the time. It is expected that the industry of autonomous vehicles will develop very fast, and 2019 may be the year when many projects mature and start commercial activity. It is also extremely important in this aspect to introduce intelligent infrastructure to cities that could communicate with autonomous vehicles. An example? Street lights that communicate their current state to vehicles. You can read more about Smart Cities here.

Edge Computing is becoming more and more important

Cloud Computing has been a popular buzzword, which means processing data in the cloud (remote servers). This trend is still strengthening, and many companies in this sector have achieved success. However, cloud computing requires high bandwidths of computer networks, but data transfer is expensive. In addition, there are growing concerns about the security of data stored in the cloud. For this reason, the opposite trend is emerging - Edge Computing. According to this idea, some basic calculations can be performed inside the data collector, and only telemetry data should be sent to the cloud. For example, a camera that does not send a full 1080p image to the cloud, but only information what objects were detected.

Microsoft invests heavily in this technology with its partners. In our company, we also prepare and test technologies in this field. As we wrote in an earlier article - the less information we send to the network, the better for the safety of our devices, and this allows us to move smoothly to the next topic ...

IoT security will become necessity

As we have already mentioned - IoT devices are difficult to maintain security. That is why it is so important to think about this aspect at the design stage. New devices are becoming safer, companies and supervisors are introducing security procedures adapted to this type of devices more often.

Therefore, we believe that in 2019, encryption of connections with all IoT devices and the Edge Computing trend already described will become the standard. At Summer Agency we are prepared for the upcoming changes, which is why all our projects are built with security in mind and encryption of sensitive information.

 

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February 15, 2018 - No Comments!

5 Golden Rules for Product Development

As you probably know, bringing innovative products to life and creating hardware devices is a complex task. It takes few months to make a perfect market research and analyze a demand for that product. Then it’s time to think how to generate a perfect solution and verify correct operation at the prototyping stage. And of course, it doesn’t happen in a blink of an eye.

A methodology of creating innovative products and services based on deep understanding of the problems and needs of the users is not a short-term process, and it needs a decent construction. Structuring to the process of design thinking let us solve complex problems by understanding users’ needs. What’s more, it allows re-framing the problem in human-centric ways, creating ideas in brainstorming sessions and adopting a hands-on approach to prototyping and testing. In other words, this structure lets us define our 5 golden rules of creating products desired by users, technologically feasible and economically justified. So how to design a great hardware for a product?


Creating a product -  step by step

  • Empathize. Innovation starts with empathy

New solutions are created mainly for people. That’s why the first point is to gain an empathic realization of the problem you are trying to solve. You have to conduct research to develop an understanding of your users. It is crucial to recognize the hidden and intuitive motivations that affect human choices and behavior. You have to know what your future consumers need and gain perfect knowledge about similar products. Which of them have not succeed? Why? What made the others succeed? Follow the “must-do” actions and avoid competitors’ mistakes.

  • Define the problem and get to know your customers

During the defining stage, together with your team you combine all your research and observe whether a problem exists. You need to check if your future client needs your solution. What’s the main value of it? Is the price affordable? Or will your customer use a cheaper product from your competitors? Try to frame the problem correctly so that you will gather more certain data and good solutions.

  • Generate the ideas and brainstorm with your team

This stage involves generating as many crazy and creative ideas as possible. Your team members have to ‘think outside the box’ to identify new solutions to the problem statement you’ve created. Remember not to ignore ideas that seem obvious or easy — they can turn out to be the brilliant ones, if only you focus on them. To finalize this stage, write down the best ideas and try to test them to find the correct answer.

  • Build a prototype which will meet the expectations of customers

At this stage you have to build real, tactile representations for your product. For now, don’t make things more complicated than necessary. Your top goal is to make a prototype that is visually ready to present the idea to users and quickly gather feedback on the solution. The final shape of your product needs to be designed and built according to the user feedback and with a particular focus on their tips or needs they’ve described. This brings us to another point…

  • Test the product and eliminate all the inconveniences

The stage of testing is extremely important and should not be overlooked in the course of the project. This is the moment of confronting the idea of a product design with its users. You have to prepare a well-working device. Feedback has the greatest importance at this stage because it enhances your involvement in the product growth. If the users love the product it means that it's ready to entry the market. But if they flag some inconveniences, it’s up to your team to get back to the third point and figure out new ideas for your users' satisfaction.

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February 12, 2018 - No Comments!

Our Year in Review