Smart product exploration

Orientation and decision-making in smart product exploration

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Making a product smart with digital technology opens up many possibilities and, at the same time, raises many questions: What smart solution do I want to create? What technologies and expertise do I need for that? How does it change my business model and development? And how should I approach the entire exploration? Sirris and imec joined forces to support companies that build physical products in their steps towards a smart product.

Why smart products?

Smart products are physical products that are enhanced with smart functionalities, digital services, and data-driven solutions through the use of digital technology. Thanks to connectivity and software in and around the product, a smart product can adapt to users, the environment, and business needs. By addressing a specific need, a smart product creates added value for both users and product builders.

Venn diagram of what a smart product ACHIEVES - value creation in terms of users, business and technology

Support for your exploration of smart products

Throughout this three-year project, Sirris and imec have developed supportive tools to help companies arrive at a better smart product concept more quickly. The tools and individual support remain available after the project, even for companies starting their exploration of smart products tomorrow.

Make use of available methods and tools to increase the success of your smart product innovation:

  • Concrete smart product scenarios applied in existing smart product innovations: an inspiration guide, an approach to identify relevant and valuable ideas, and a methodology to validate the market fit in support of the product strategy and product management.
  • Structured exploration approach for evaluating the feasibility of smart product options: a maturity scan, a product monitoring tool, and a set of guidelines and templates based on systems engineering standards.
  • Strategy to use proofs-of-concept for risk management and validation: an approach that identifies the various activities to explore and validate a smart product concept, along with recommendations for the technological development of smart products.

The project results were disseminated to the target audience through webinars, masterclasses, and individual coaching sessions. The methods and insights have already been implemented in feasibility studies or development projects at around 30 companies.


‘Orientation and decision-making in smart product exploration' is a COOCK project, supported by Vlaio.




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Mar 2020 - Feb 2023

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Project deliverables

Smart Product Inspiration Guide

This inspirational guide outlines 17 smart product scenarios and dissects for you the various ways in which value can be created with smart products.

Receive our Smart Product Inspiration Guide

Smart Product Online Casebook

Explore the 5 most common smart product scenarios and 15 inspiring product examples from companies around you.

Explore the Smart Product Inspirator

Smart product masterclasses

Gain insights into product management and the technological development of smart products, alongside other companies.

Keep me posted on the Sirris Smart Product masterclasses

Digital maturity scan & product monitoring tool

Evaluate whether the necessary competencies are present in your company and what developmental steps you have already taken.

Find out more

Guidelines for Product Development

Evaluate your development approach against existing systems engineering standards.

Find out more