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IoT & sensors are hot topics in product development

07 Jan 2019

Product developers working with the internet of things and sensor technologies are helping to accelerate ‘remarkable’ double-digit growth – and security remains top-of mind, despite the rapid changes.

Global technology solutions provider Avnet polled 1190 members from the Hackster.io and element14 engineering communities to understand development efforts, challenges, and what has changed in the last 12 months.

IoT and sensors are the most important technologies for products that developers are designing today, according to 61% of respondents. 26% of respondents also noted that IoT was the most improved technology in 2018, followed by artificial intelligence (25%).

IoT continues to remain at the top of emerging technologies. The importance of IoT products rose by 14% in the last year, followed by drones and robotics projects (8%).

Overall, 81% of developers believe that security is the biggest challenge when it comes to IoT deployment. Time and cost also present major challenges when moving from design to manufacturing.

According to Avnet’s vice president of emerging business, Dayna Badhorn, developers now have more access to resources and communities. This helps to speed up the pace of bringing new products to market.

“IoT and sensors are leading the way in importance and impacting the design process. But survey respondents also noted these are the most underrated technologies when it comes to innovation, signalling that IoT and sensors will have an even greater impact as developers engage partners to help them take their ideas from prototype to production.”

Developers are also facing challenges during product development. According to the survey, 34% of respondents find it difficult to obtain financing for development, 26% of respondents find it difficult to identify the best technology to use in their designs, and 22% say that obtaining product certification is an issue.

Despite the challenges, there have been some improvement in certain areas. The survey found that 58% of developers find that prototype development and testing is easier. Scaling production and identifying the best source for technologies also became easier.

Partnerships also stand out as a key trend. More than one third (37%) of developer have sought out a partner to help them bring a product to market. 

Overall, 76% of developers prefer flexibility when it comes to selecting vendors based on market needs and expertise.

Developers look for partners who have a strong track record in their industry (49% of respondents), can offer strong technical support (43%), or are a result of a personal relationship or recommendation (39%).

“These trends suggest that having one partner who can offer critical design, development and manufacturing capabilities can be invaluable to the go-to-market strategy,” Badhorn explains. 

“At this time of rapid innovation, developers seek the best of both worlds -- a comprehensive ecosystem that allows for the flexibility and options developers desire, with the streamlined support and cost benefit of a single partner.”  

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