Industrial design in IoT is an aspect that is often neglected by very technical startups. The creation of any electronic product normally involves many areas, like mechanical design, industrial engineering, firmware development, and electronics. There are so many things that should go right to have a successful project. And this is just the technical side: you can have an excellent product, but if nobody knows about it, you won’t be able to sell it.
So, it’s important to be able to leverage the technical side into the marketing strategy. This will make that you can start showing your product in an early stage and start getting attention.
There are several ways of doing this, like a functional prototype, but in this article we are going to exploit the industrial design for this purpose.
Having a strong design concept of your product can be turned into a render (ideally a high fidelity one). This can be used on the webpage, on campaigns, and other marketing material to understand the public view of your product, next to its features.
This is especially true in consumer electronic products. When devices are built for companies, usually the most important features are related to Return of Investment (ROI). But when the regular people are the clients of them, the look-and-feel is much important.
A render is worth a thousand words.
Industrial design in Termodeep: A real life example
During the 2020 pandemic, our team started developing a thermal camera to detect the high temperatures in humans. It was oriented to help companies and stores to re-open following all the bio-security measures. It was a tough path. At the moment we had experience in thermal cameras (modules) but not with the specification needed for this application.
In a short time, we sell the idea to a long-time client to start the development with them, and at the same moment, our industrial design team started drafting some sketches. This was a render that help us close an international deal:
Some people asked us where was it installed. But the reality was much different. We were far form that look.
We started with 3d printing techniques. Good enough for concept, but regarding the efforts to sand and paint it, it still looked like a prototype.
In a moment, injection mold techniques sounded like a reasonable option, but having to expend $10.000 USD when we did not have sell even 20 cameras was a huge risk.
After a lot of thinking, we opted for the metal-sheet bending procedure. This is how things like DVDs were made. Take a sheet of metal, cut it into shape, bend it and then paint it with electrostatic paint.
Here is a small gallery that show key moments on the process:
So the next time you have a product idea, a very good way to tackle is to start with the industrial design. You will be able to communicate your product better and use it to show to possible clients, investors, or partners.