3 key roles in the development of IOT connected objects

The digital era has seen the emergence of new technologies that have completely revolutionized our daily lives, with ever more connected products. At the crossroads of these innovations, the fusion between Product Designer, Electronic Engineer and Mobile Application Developer is essential to create these revolutionary objects.

In this article, find out how connected objects, or the Internet Of Things (IOT), are created.

UNDERSTANDING IOT

A connected object, or the Internet of Things (IoT), is a device capable of collecting, transmitting and processing information via the Internet. This can range from simple gadgets to complex systems integrated in industry, agriculture or the oil sector. Connected objects can be broken down into four key operational phases:

How a connected object works

  1. Creation: Objects measure information.
  2. Transmission: They communicate this information.
  3. Storage and analysis: Information is processed.
  4. Presentation: Information is displayed.

Each stage requires precise design and engineering to ensure optimal operation.

KEY ROLES WHEN DESIGNING A CONNECTED OBJECT

The product designer's approach

Product design plays a crucial role in the development of an effective connected object. It includes not only the development of the product's aesthetic and functional aspects, but also consideration of the stresses that the object may undergo during its life cycle. Like a "skin", which the connected object possesses, it must protect the object from external stresses (shocks, temperature, aggressive environment, etc.) to ensure that the internal components which provide the functions are protected, and act optimally and sustainably.

Good design ensures not only visual appeal, but also functionality, ease of use and alignment with consumer expectations.

The Electronics Engineer's approach

Electronic Engineering is a discipline that focuses on the design and development of electronic devices. It is an essential element in the creation of connected objects. Electronic engineering contributes to the functionality of a connected object. It enables the product to collect, transmit and process information efficiently and reliably.

The developer's approach to the mobile application

The development ofmobile applications and/or web platforms offers numerous possibilities in terms of connectivity and functionality. Depending on the type of IoT device used, it is possible to aggregate the data generated by the device, control it, and generally display the same data in view of the solution's objective.

It is also through the application that new services can emerge by cross-referencing information.

ALL FOCUSED ON THE USER EXPERIENCE (UX)

User Experience (UX) refers to the overall experience a user has when using a product, system or service. A good UX is crucial for connected objects, as it determines how the user interacts with the product. A well-designed UX makes it easy for the user to understand how the IOT solution is used, and to derive maximum benefit from it.

  • At the product level, we take into account installation methods, interaction with the object and available functionalities, to ensure optimal use in its environment.
  • Through the mobile application, it also creates new business opportunities by setting up special services and strong links between the brand and the user.

This initial approach to the globality of the solution provided, enables each stakeholder to have a common goal to achieve, a clear vision of each component of the solution for the benefit of the end-user, and taking into account the company's internal strategy.

THE CONVERGENCE OF DISCIPLINES

True innovation in connected objects comes from the synergy between different disciplines.

Each discipline makes a unique contribution to the creation of a connected object. Product design gives the product its appearance and functionality, the mobile application guarantees easy and pleasant interaction for the user, and electronic engineering ensures that the device functions properly. Even if they don't belong to the same organization, it's important to create a link right from the early design phases.

Between Product Designer and Engineer

Close liaison and regular exchanges on technical advances are crucial. Their interaction ensures that the object's form and content interact optimally. Here are some activities where each party has a role to play:

  • Hardware ergonomics: intelligent component placement (connectors/cable routing/antennas, etc.)
  • H2M (Human 2 Machine) interaction (Led / screen / button / ... )
  • Electronics ventilation/cooling
  • Assembly in production
  • ...

Between Engineer and Developer

This collaboration makes it possible to exchange technical knowledge and optimize the sending of raw data to the application. Firmware developers can share their technical constraints with mobile application developers, facilitating problem resolution and feature integration.

  • Data types
  • Format type
  • Sending frequency
  • Data security
  • Receiving commands or updates on the device
  • M2M (Machine 2 Machine) interaction
  • ...

Between Developer and Product Designer

Product design and application are the first 2 elements that will be judged by the end-consumer as being a good or bad solution, from the very first minutes of use. Together they must consolidate :

  • User Experience
  • Branding
  • H2M (Human 2 Machine) interaction
  • ...

This cooperation can take the form of regular meetings, joint brainstorming sessions and design reviews, particularly at intersections between disciplines. By working collaboratively, you'll save time and optimize the efficiency of your development process. What's more, this collaboration will promote a better understanding of the project as a whole, and ensure consistency between development and the expected User Experience.

[fs-toc-omit] CONCLUSION

There are many other elements, such as the impact of the choice of production techniques on a product, standards, the importance of constantly iterating with potential customers, the importance of updates, and many other elements in developing a new IOT solution.

Our aim at 1POINT61 is to help entrepreneurs and innovators understand the issues and risks involved in developing a new IOT solution, as it's extremely difficult to catch up once the production stage has begun. Although this article is presented in a linear fashion, it is important to bear in mind that every development is unique, and the course of action to be taken will always depend on various factors that need to be defined as early as possible in the project.

SOLUTIONS DEVELOPED BY 1POINT61

Machine tool performance monitoring

In industry, the IoT is used to monitor the performance of machine tools. A connected device is plugged into the machine and measures information such as operating time and current consumption. This data is then transmitted to a dashboard that displays important ratios, enables operations and/or predictive maintenance to be carried out, and ensures safety.

See Waltec-Biometrics

Securing bicycle fleets

Secure parking for your bike or electric scooter in an urban environment, controlled from your smartphone. The system also allows you to recharge your vehicle while you're away.

See Edock

Cold chain monitoring and tracking of medical packages

A device installed in each parcel tracks its geolocation and the "health" parameters of the contents.

See Dragonfly

Personal assistant

A voice-activated system helps each person find the information they need and control their home.

See Jeeves

Remote robot control

An exoskeleton arm can pilot another robot for operations requiring an operational safety distance. Data is sent in real time.

See Space Application Services

Combating food waste

A food waste control solution for school canteens and professional refectories. Their product helps senior managers make better ecological decisions when it comes to overall food waste management.

See SmileBin

Your solution here

Don't hesitate to contact our team of experts for personalized advice and to develop your IoT application successfully.

Tony Rey Paulino
Tony Rey Paulino
September 7, 2023
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