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Proper planning can help overcome numerous issues, perhaps most importantly, the matter of “technology mismatch”: Your wearable might be based on outdated concepts, or it may simply not meet users’ needs. – “You need to start doing end-user research, go into the field and find unmet needs and features that could be in the product,” said Patel. You may have performed sufficient initial research when you first designed your product, but technology evolves rapidly (see: Moore’s law), so it’s your product may require ongoing development to support new advancements. Part of that process involves ongoing evaluation of the market, to see what other types of wearables are on the market now or in development, and then explore ways of improving your product. The initial design of a device can take months, along with the time needed to create working prototypes. Hunting for the best manufacturing partners can be challenging, and locating the best materials—at the best price point—is key to production success. Straight-forward design and development costs can start in the hundreds of thousands of $$.
Even with a solid design and working prototype, innovators face hurdles locating the perfect hardware for their device. A device design can take about three months to complete. In the rush to market, it’s easy to gloss over important aspects, particularly when it comes to addressing problems. Providing clear, precise specifications for products is vital, as is having a plan for when issues occur (and they will occur). “The manufacturer might change the material they are making the product out of—or they may change a process they are using to assemble it—and that may cause defects,
Your device is ready to move to the production stage and it looks great. But is it really working the way it should? Coping with manufacturing issues should be part of your strategy, and Patel emphasized the importance of managing your product with real-world testing: “In-line testing is very important. It catches any areas where the manufacturer—or even the line workers—may have changed the process,” he said. The manufacturing process has an enormous effect on the product, so maintaining quality is crucial.
Although wearables are part of the mobile revolution, that doesn’t mean that every mobile manufacturer is capable of creating the exact product you want. It’s important to assess the capabilities of product development partners, Patel advises. Look into their experience and check “that they actually have a background in that sector (like wearables),”