Major Mistakes to Avoid When Going to a Smart Device Category
With all the possibilities for growth that the connected home industry offers, more and more tech companies are joining the “smart revolution”. Although it’s probably the best time to bring your gadget idea into life, the whole process is still associated with a number of risks on different stages of its implementation. As a result, developing an IoT product often resembles walking through a minefield, where one wrong step can cause numerous problems or even collapse.
A recent Cisco study revealed that only less than 30 percent of companies were successful with their smart device initiatives. Thus, it is essential for the newly established smart home companies to consider and analyse mistakes made by their predecessors. Most mistakes can be classified by categories, such as security, design, marketing, sales etc.
In our new article, we describe the most common mistakes with smart devices and the ways how to avoid them.
Not focusing on hardware design
Designing a smart device is more challenging than working with general tech projects. Many companies make a huge mistake by developing an advanced mobile application before they have visualised their device firmware. Developing an application first and then trying to ‘fit’ smart elements into it is not a very good idea. First and foremost, focus on your hardware design. Make sure that you understand how your device will look like and the way sensors will be equipped/embedded/connected to it. Your software (mobile application) and hardware (physical product) should be properly aligned and work coherently.
Making your device less flexible
Remember that smart home devices are meant to make consumers lives easier by resolving their problems and implementing ideas. Thus, ensure that your hardware can be remotely updated anytime to stay up-to-date with the latest market trends. The competition is constantly growing, so your smart appliance should be quality adaptable and flexible, otherwise it will soon be overridden by more progressive competitors.
What is more, pay attention at scalability of your home appliance. Joining this rapidly developing industry means to be open to all innovations that the underlying technologies bring. If your smart device design does not respond to changes in technology, capacities, and transformations, it won’t survive on the market.
Moreover, Industry 4.0. requires that a team of professionals come together to cope with interrelated challenges and solve critical issues connected to advanced robotics, big data analytics, augmented reality, cloud computing, etc. Thus, every team member is required to have a sufficient multi-disciplinary experience in IT, operational technologies, process automation, etc.
The more is not always the better
One of the most common mistakes made by companies is trying to integrate as many “smart functions” into one device as possible. The truth is that the “smartness” of your appliance is not measured by the number of advanced functions that it implements. Thus, if you are not sure about how your smart device will benefit from a specific component or function (i.e. additional sensors), do not add it just because you have enough resources. To avoid this mistake, you should have a clear vision of the device that you would like to create, including the nature of data it will process and problems it will solve. This approach will help you to outline the necessary “smart components” of your final product and avoid adding too many complicated details.
Not prioritizing digital security
Digital security should be one of the key priorities when implementing a connected home appliance. When security failures, the future of smart device, including its functionality, reputation and potential success, is jeopardized. Modern customers are well aware of possible hacking attacks and data breaches that can interfere with their privacy and comfort. As a result, security became one of the fundamental factors that influence a final purchasing decision. It is important to discuss both data-level and appliance-level security with your team and, if needed, spend extra money on precautionary measures. For example, the data level (product website, mobile app, etc.) can be secured with strong encryption mechanisms, such as implementing API over HTTPs. Most companies use Enhanced Privacy Identity (EPID) assurance in order to reduce the level of attacks made on the appliance level (physical product). You can always use various smart device quality analysts and app testers to ensure that all security issues are eliminated in time.
Failing to carry out third-party assessment
Be careful with the security of your vendor’s components in case you are outsourcing the smart device software. If vendor’s security vulnerability is detected after launching a smart device on the market, companies will have to bear full responsibility for the malfunctions on their own. Customers do not care who developed an unsafe device component - the company itself or their vendors. Thus, make sure that you carry out an independent and detailed assessment of your potential outsourcing partner’s infrastructure. Better safe than sorry.
Compromising user accounts
Many companies are trying to make user experience more positive by simplifying the processes of website/app registration and authentication. It is true that burdensome account setup procedures often annoy new users. However, you jeopardize your customers’ digital security and privacy by introducing a weak password policy, and/or the lack of an account lockout. Every successful company knows that client comes first, but in the era of digitalisation, the client security takes the lead.
Not giving your customers a trial period
The novelty and innovativeness that the smart home industry represents attracts a lot of people. However, most of your potential clients still have no idea what a smart home device is and how it works in practice. Thus, you should not rush them into something that they do not understand yet. Make sure that you give your customers enough time to investigate some of the most useful device features without a need to sign in or buy a subscription. Let potential users play around with your new IoT device and get impressed by what they hold in their hands.
Focusing on external competition
While keeping an eye on competitors is important if you want to stay up-to-date with the market trends, never forget about internal factors that may navigate your potential customer away from your smart device. Some companies even outline possible “distraction factors” and include them in UX/UI design plans. For example, many customers can be distracted by lengthy website registration procedure or annoying advertisements on the main page. Always try to put yourself in your customers’ shoes to understand whether the website design or device infrastructure is not too distracting or annoying.
Avoid Mistakes in Smart Devices Development with BBA
Going to smart device category requires thoughtful planning and implementation. As new advanced features and technologies are added to smart home industry, the impact of security, marketing or design related mistakes becomes even more fatal. In the modern world, the aforementioned flaws can put at risk not only your company’s financial stability, good name or position on the market, but also your customer’s privacy and even physical well-being.
BrainbeanApps is a company that realizes the value of each mistake. We utilize our expertise to prevent any shifts to wrong scenarios for your device at every stage of the product development cycle. With BBA you can relax and be confident that you move in a proper direction. Our experts keep the process under control and protect you from the most unpredictable mistakes.