Electronics Product Development

Posted on 14/10/2011 by Chadanuch Pomankul

Nowadays electronics can be found in more and more items. Just look around you. You might use an electric toothbrush, an electric watch. You have a mobile phone and a computer. And all kitchen appliances will have electronic components built in.

Electronic Product Development is different from “normal” Product Development such as an iPhone/iPad case or holder. As soon as electronics are involved there will be a new step before the project gets started. We at DETEKT call it “Stage 0” and it comprises the Electronics Feasibility Report.

And that step is crucial for the whole process. During this stage you and DETEKT will nail down the main product requirements from an electronics development point of view:

1. What do you (realistically) expect your product to do?

We would all like to have a smartphone that brings less than 100g on the scale and can run non-stop without recharging for three months. Alas, that’s  not possible (yet). Electronics Product Development starts with a realistic assessment of what the product should be able to do (and what not), how small (big) it will be, how long the battery life will be (if applicable) and much more.

2. How will you market your product?

Marketing will affect the whole development, especially pricing. You need to think about for how much you want to retail your product for. As a rule of thumb: The retail price is around four to five times the production price. If you want to sell your product for USD 60, you need to buy it from the factory for USD 12 to 15. These price points need to be defined during the Electronics Feasibility Study.

3. How shall it look?

There’s a trend to smaller devices. If you want your device to be particularly compact you need to define the measurements in advance. The product’s size will have an effect on manufacturing, production costs as well as complexity.

Once you have answered all these questions it is time to type them down. Some things you need to remember when doing Electronics Product Development:

1. Clear and concise language

Forget all the marketing language. Don’t use words such as “should”, “might”,  “and/or”. Be precise. Write bluntly, very bluntly. Make sure everyone understands exactly what you want. This is not the time for being political or  nice.  No, directness is needed.

2. Assign Priorities

Sooner or later you will have to make choices. Do you want a small, light product or a long battery life (and hence a large battery which will make the device bigger)? Before the electronic development you need to assign priorities. What is most important for you? What is second most important? The Product Design Consultancy needs to understand your priorities to come up with a product you want.

3. Where do you want to sell your product?

You need to think of where you want to sell your product in the future. Particularly western countries such as the EU, the U.S. but also Australia and     New Zealand are known to protect their markets by introducing complicated rules no one really understands. Decide which markets you want to sell to before you get started. Let your Product Design Consultancy make sure that  the product complies with all regulatory requirements and passes all necessary safety regulations and requirements before it enters the market.

4. Write it down

Make sure everything is written down. A good Product Design Consultancy will provide you a detailed proposal outlining all steps and design stages. Insist on a written proposal at all times!

Now it’s time! Get in touch with a Product Design Company and get your idea to market!

Leave a Reply