WHY IS IOT PROTOTYPING NEEDED?
Building a new market-ready product directly, especially in a new technical field like IoT can be risky. Sure, you may have done your research very well with some intelligent guesses, but one wrong guess can prove to be very expensive in IoT because of the long time and money required to recompile the electronics. This is why we always begin with IoT prototyping.
An IoT prototype is used to understand the pinch points and to figure out the necessary parameters for Full stack IoT Development. A prototype is in no way a ready-to-market product, it is just a trial version that is deployed end-to-end with sensors connected through the device, network, cloud, end-user interface, and enterprise integration. Hence, a prototype is a way to visualize your product the way you want it to work and is proof of what your final product is going to look and work like.
Prototyping and designing software for IoT applications is one of the important steps while building an IoT Product. PoC shows the viability of the IoT solution whereas Prototype proves the usability of the solution.
An IoT product Development involves many stages in the journey of developing a Full stack IoT product.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHILE BUILDING AN IOT PROTOTYPE
If you’re ready with your idea and want to work on your IoT prototype, here are some things that you should keep in mind-
- Get the toughest problem out of the way first. It’s very important to start with the riskiest assumption when prototyping your IoT product. This will force you to make major product decisions early in the stage rather than months into the development cycle when you would’ve spent your time and resources developing a product that doesn’t fulfill your requirement.
- Second, decide on which technologies you’re going to use in developing the IoT Solution. This may include a lot of research and some hits and trials. You might even run into some dead ends but by the end, you’ll be sure which technologies and communication protocols are best suited for your IoT product.
- Once that is out of the way, it’s time to start building and finding solutions for the hiccups encountered in the process.
STAGES OF IOT PROTOTYPING
Full Stack IoT Product Development consists of various stages and is a long journey till Product Development.
The first step is PoC in which the development team finds out the viability of the solution required and what challenges could possibly come on the way to Product Development. This is usually done within a few days of the start of the project. This provides a rapid analysis of the required IoT solution.
After PoC, a prototype is created with hardware and software elements. A prototype is something that can be handed over to the client for demonstration. It basically shows the system simulation and helps in finding out the usability of the product. It generally takes weeks of time.
When the usability of the product is checked, it is time to find out the market demand for the product. A basic version of the solution is launched, which helps in getting user feedback at the preliminary level. This takes at least a few months to get an IoT solution at this level.
Now it is the time to end the development journey and launch the final product.
Although IoT Solution involves various stages, prototyping is one such stage. Even IoT prototyping consists of different versions and is upgraded at levels.
APPEARANCE MODEL in IoT prototype
An appearance model is a physical mock-up, first, it is a series of drawings that explore the number of configurations for the product. Then a 3D structure is printed which helps in forecasting the look of the end product. The dimensions are not frozen at this stage but are kept in mind as a target size. The appearance model is used to demonstrate the size, color, control locations, actuator location, etc., and to give the investor a visual idea of the product.
IOT PROOF OF CONCEPT
To evaluate the performance of a subsystem or technical component for feasibility Proof of concept (PoC) prototypes are used. It is the quickest way to evaluate the viability of the user interface. The main purpose is to prove if your theory actually works in practice or not. PoC is 40%-80% stable and should be done within a few months. This is done on the development boards and modules, connecting everything with jumping wires. This is also one of the ways to do Rapid Prototyping.
Alpha Phase in iot Prototyping
The Alpha prototype is the initial attempt made to design the prototype according to the requirements listed in the Product Requirements Specification (PRS). It is also the first attempt at making it look and work as close as possible to the final product. The iterative process used for building this prototype can provide guidance for the upcoming stages of development. The Alpha Development is more expensive as compared to the previous stages and requires more time as well. The Alpha stage is important to understand the limitations of the product so that you can take time to refine them.
Beta phase in Iot prototyping
Design refinements found in the Alpha stage are incorporated in the Beta stage. Software is refined and is prepared for final testing and initial release. The documentation is updated accordingly. Test plans and verification tools are made and the prototypes are ready for preliminary validation testing, and safety and performance testing in compliance with the PRS. Beta prototypes overcome any deficiencies in meeting the standards.
Pilot production of an Iot project
Refinements from the Beta stage are incorporated into the design and implemented in the pilot production phase. The design is submitted to the manufacturing team and units are produced for summative usability testing and clinical trials. After that, some units are released onto the market. The design and production process are relatively stable.
The matured product takes into account the refinements that are to be made from user feedback and production monitoring. This stage has a high yield, the design and assembly process are stable and cost-saving methods are incorporated.
With our journey in IoT Product development for years, we have created many modules for Rapid IoT prototyping. If you are looking for IoT prototyping solutions for your business, we at Psiborg Technologies, with our years of experience, can help you create products with perfection.