You pretty much have to have your head in the sand not to notice the changes in hardware product design innovation and new product development that are condensing product delivery timelines.
Here are four product development trends worth watching.
- Hardware development is becoming more agile
The fact that hardware development is becoming more agile has been written about extensively by Jon Bruner from O’Reilly. Hardware product development is becoming more agile on many fronts, but particularly in the design and prototyping phase. This is largely because of the availability and affordability of new prototyping tools such as 3-D printers. 3-D printers have also advanced in terms of their ability to create prototypes using a diverse set of materials. Advances in fast prototyping tools like 3-D printers condense the build, test and learn cycle.
- Makers are increasing the talent pool and speeding up product design innovation
Just like the hackers of yesteryear coding in their dorm rooms, creating the platforms of today such as Facebook, the maker movement of hardware developers is increasing the hardware development talent pool and speeding up product design innovation. Watch for the next big hardware startup to be launched by the next 20 something from their college dorm room.
- Software integration into hardware enables rapid innovation and new business models
Hardware and software integration is increasing. Many of these devices are now connected to the internet. Connected devices mean manufacturers, much like software companies, can upgrade products remotely and charge differently for different feature sets. New hardware business models and the opportunity for fast upgrades and innovation is manifold.
Which brings us to trend number 4.
- Time to market for hardware products is decreasing
Increasing speed to market is part of what we do. We decrease project timelines through thorough planning, and real-time, decentralized management of project plans. However, with new prototyping tools available, increased product design talent, open hardware movements, the multitude of connected devices and the ability for remote management and upgrades, time to market is decreasing for hardware new product innovation, design and development.