Is my smart connected product feasible?

We can no longer imagine life without connected products. Lots of companies manufacturing physical products, are wondering - and quite rightly so - whether smart connected products are also their future and if and when they should make a move. It seems risky not to invest, while investing incorrectly is also wrong.

That is why Sirris identified ten challenges that product builders have to address when making the move to smart connected products. These were joined in a guide that will help these companies to make their first moves toward smart connected products. Below we will briefly discuss the importance of verifying the technological and economic feasibility.

Challenge 5: Assessing the technological feasibility of the solution

A lot of digital technology is already available today and can be used in smart connected products. However, for many product manufacturers, this range of technologies is, in whole or at least in part, beyond their current expertise. In addition, the technology does not stand still and there are always new developments, for example in relation to faster and/or cheaper connectivity (5G and Narrowband IoT network technologies), low-cost and miniature sensors (MEMS-based sensors and printed sensors), new cloud platforms and solutions based on artificial intelligence.

In order to assess the technological feasibility, you must first of all have a good understanding of the requirements for a possible solution. Only then can you start looking for ready-made solutions or partial solutions that can easily be combined.

Perhaps you are facing a long search for a custom application or you are not sure yet whether a solution exists that meets the requirements. These challenges need to be detected quickly.

So first estimate the technological feasibility of your intended solution before you work it out in detail:

  • What are the requirements for my solution? Which functionalities are really necessary and when are they good enough?
  • Are there market available solutions or is development needed? To what extent is technology available for direct application in the development?  Do I have a clear view of that myself?
  • How do I see the step-by-step development of my solution? (development roadmap)



Challenge 6: Get a realistic picture of costs

Even for technologically feasible applications, it can be a challenge to successfully combine the range of 'new' technologies into a solution at the right cost. That is why it is important to make an early estimate of the cost factors of that solution and to refine them gradually. When making the business case, you really need a realistic picture to come to a 'go/no go' decision.

So make sure to get a realistic picture of the costs and the various cost factors before taking major development steps:

  • Which cost factors should I take into account for my solution?
  • How high will these costs be for these cost factors in the best and worst case scenario?
  • What does this mean for the minimum value that I must be able to realise with my solution?

By checking the technological and economic feasibility of your product idea in good time, you avoid unnecessary development costs and get the right insight into your development trajectory. This is quite a challenge if you are insufficiently familiar with the technology. In this process Sirris supports companies as innovation partners, with independent advice and guidance.
In the WAT SLIM project Sirris has helped more than 50 companies to explore the potential of smart connected products for their business. The insights built up in this project were joined in a guide. The guide provides an overview of the 10 most important challenges for product builders who want to make the move to smart connected products.
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(Source picture: iStock) 

This blog has been written with the support of VLAIO.