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10 Internet of Things Design Considerations

2017-02-07

10  Internet of Things Design Considerations



1) Cost
“Smart” or IoT products help consumers and manufacturers alike, but they cost more. Both Ethernet and Wireless technologies have come down below $10, so consider networking in your next product!

2) Network
The network technology you chose for your IoT product has distance and gateway/router issues. If you need to get to the internet then you need Ethernet/Wi-Fi, if you are self-contained a room or building then ZigBee, Z-Wave, Bluetooth are available. Remember all wireless technologies need FCC certification.

3) Features
With an IoT connected product, companies can now add features to their products that were not possible or imagined. These features can get you direct access to the customer for updates, maintenance, and new revenue opportunities.

4) User Interface
How the user interfaces with a product is important. Are you going to use buttons, LEDs, display on the product. Also what web and app interfaces are you going to provide? 

5) Power
One of the first decisions should be is this product going to be powered by batteries! If it is then all the decisions must be done to preserve power. Many of the networking technologies do not fit well with batteries. Frequency of communication does have an influence on the selection too!

6) Size
Size matters! How much space does the network take on your design, what are the connectors and/or antennas required?

7) Antenna
All wireless networks use an antenna, internal or external to the product. The trend is to move the antenna inside the enclosure if it is plastic. All metal enclosures would require external antennas. 

8) Cloud
Cloud applications provide products a user interface to the product and the data. There are private and public clouds. Most clouds have a standard API for developing your application. 

9) Interoperability
Does your product need to communicate with other vendors’ products? If so, then you need to adopt a standard set of protocols like Apple’s HomeKit to communicate with other products. 

10) Security
Security is more and more a major issue, so you need to design in as many layers of security. SSL and password are the minimum.

 

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