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Don’t Stop at Software: Make Hardware Too!

Many product ideas require hardware for sensing, user interaction, etc. Until recently, it has been difficult & expensive to bring the hardware component of a product to market. Developments such as low cost rapid prototyping & manufacturing, energy efficient parts, crowd funding, etc, have made it easier for small startups to get into the hardware game. Everything from design, production, and fulfillment can be outsourced, so you can quickly bring a device to market without the expense and time of bringing up an in-house hardware team. Those trends are accelerating, so now is the time for you to create the next great product idea. Learn how to take advantage of these trends and focus your efforts on the core value of your product that makes it unique, the software.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. Why doesn’t everyone just use a device that is already on the market? Many companies big and small are getting into the activity monitoring space and are building their own devices (Nike+ FuelBand, Zamzee, etc). These companies will be used to illustrate some of the reasons why you should venture into hardware development.
  2. Why is now a great time to create your own device? Discussion will include topics such as outsourcing design, inexpensive low volume production, low cost technologies, etc.
  3. What technologies can you use right now and what is on the way? Examples of things applicable in the activity sensing space will be given (connectivity, sensors, low power, etc).
  4. How can a startup afford to create their own device? What can be outsourced? What should be done in house? What is your unique value and what intellectual property do you want to own?
  5. What should be in your device specification? Discussion will include topics, such as form factor, battery life, water resistance, markets, testing, certifications, approvals, etc.



Denis Bohm, Product Design Consultant, Firefly Design

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