How to Get Started Developing IoT Devices

The opportunities for smart, connected products are enormous. So are the product development challenges.

50 billion IoT devices by 2020, and some of them need to be yours.

IoT is revolutionizing everything from wearable devices to automobiles, home appliances to medicine, and is even being applied to industry and agriculture.

New applications of the technology are being imagined all the time—it offers the biggest product development opportunity in a generation.

No matter what your industry, you should be thinking about IoT.


Video: Our IoT Product Development Process

Complex IoT Technology Stack Creates Challenges

Companies are aware that IoT product development is difficult, but most underestimate how difficult.

The development projects for even the simplest IoT products must integrate technical elements and effectively coordinate the activities of experts from many disciplines across multiple organizations.

There are also new challenges posed by system testing, security, maintenance, support, warranty, regulatory compliance, data governance, and user privacy—IoT development faces unique obstacles in all these areas.

No wonder the risks of delays, cost overruns, and overall failures are so great.

To help companies understand the complexity of IoT device development, we created the IoT technology stack diagram below. It shows IoT devices are made up of multiple technology layers including, the physical hardware device, IoT cloud platform, embedded software, network communication protocols, and security.

IoT Technology Stack Model


Where to Start: Criteria for Developing IoT Devices

Experience and effective project leadership are crucial.

Design 1st can help. We have successfully developed connected products for over 20 years, and have learnt to handle its particular challenges. Our team includes a broad array of experts, with specialists in industrial design, user experience, engineering, electronics and embedded software design, and hardware production setup.

We partner with Macadamian for application and cloud software development, and a proven network of other partners and IoT component suppliers.

Why are we the right IoT development partner for you?

  • We have the leadership skills to effectively coordinate multiple supplier relationships including radio selection and sensors
  • We use a proven product development process that captures the needs of users and supports your business model.
  • Our systems design expertise can help you architect your overall solution.
  • Our design and development capabilities stretch across the complete IoT technology stack.
  • We have the knowledge necessary to design for the regulatory requirements in the medical device and other industries.
  • Our experience ensures a smooth transition to hardware production, as well as careful management of cloud infrastructure setup and operation.

IoT industrial plumbing device

Examples of successful IoT devices

The first internet-connected (IoT) NHL home scoreboard 

Electronic protection device for pediatric patients

Discover, record and stream, free OTA (over the air) HDTV programs

Spotlight on the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)

Smart, connected devices promise to enable better patient care and new efficiencies in healthcare delivery.

Design 1st has been developing connected medical devices for over a decade.

We understand the unique regulatory, privacy, and security requirements related to IoMT.

New IoMT solutions have many applications:

  • Remote healthcare, such as the March Telehealth solution
  • Vitals monitoring (temperature, heart rate, blood pressure, glucose, etc.)
  • Medication tracking
  • Movement, location, and workout tracking
  • Implant and wearable device monitoring (pacemakers, hearing aids, etc.)

They also take many innovative forms:

  • Ingestible pill sensors
  • Infant breathing monitors (SIDS)
  • Living space monitors
  • Other consumer devices, such as connected scales

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