What is IoT Prototyping and why it is required?

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 IoT product development. A prototype is in no way the 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 a proof of concept of what your final product is going to look and work like.

An IoT product Development involves many stages, in the journey of developing a mtured 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- 

  1. 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 which doesn’t fulfil your requirement.
  2. Second, decide on which technologies you’re going to use in developing the product. This may include a lot of research and some hit and trial. You might even run into some dead ends but by the end you’ll be sure which technologies and communication  protocol is best suited for your product. 
  3. Once that is out of the way, it’s time to start building and find solutions for the hiccups encountered in the process. 

Stages of Iot prototyping

Appearance Model

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 freezed at this stage, but kept in mind as a target size. Appearance model is used to demonstrate the size, colour, control locations, actuator location, etc. and to give the investor a visual idea of the product. 

Proof of concept

To evaluate performance of a subsystem or technical component for feasibility Proof of concept (PoC) prototypes are used. It is the quickest way to evaluate the usability of the user interface. The main purpose is to prove if your theory actually works in practice or not. PoC are 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.

PoC- Proof of Concept in IoT 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 protptyping

Design refinements found in the Alpha stage are incorporated in the Beta stage. Software is refined and is prepared for final testing and the initial release. The documentation is updated accordingly. Test plans and verification tools are made and the prototypes are ready for preliminary validation testing, 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 into the market. The design and production process is relatively stable. 

Alpha phase and Pilot production in IoT prototyping

Matured Product

The matured product takes into account the refinements that are to be made from user feedback and production monitoring. This stage has high yield, the design and assembly process is stable and cost saving methods are incorporated. 

Conclusion

With our journey in IoT 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.

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