Not just gadgets, but smart products with added value

When developing smart product ideas, the technological side is often not the biggest problem; the main question is 'why?'. How can you put a smart product idea into practice and effectively offer added value to your customers?

For some time now, there has been a lot of buzz around 'smart products', products that make the lives of their users easier with electronics and sensors, an internet connection and, not infrequently, an accompanying app. The evolution towards smart products is understandable: electronics and sensor technology are becoming cheaper, there are lots of open source projects that you can use, the cloud has become a rich and natural ecosystem of building blocks, and there are different ways of providing connectivity for devices, including 4G, NB-IOT, and others. All of this means that, from a technical point of view, the number of possibilities for making a product smart and connected seem almost endless.

Gadget or value-added product?

Although there is also a downside to this smart product revolution: sometimes all this 'smart stuff' has a high gadget feel : indeed, the included mobile app looks cool, but hardly anyone uses it anymore just one week after installation. Or worse: customers don't need all that intelligence and connectivity, or hardly want to pay extra for it, while the product builder has to go to great lengths to make his product smart and connected.

Because many product builders are confronted with this, Sirris has been working on 'smart products' for years. If there is one common thread in all our conversations and projects with customers, it is that technology is often not the biggest problem when developing smart product ideas. The main question is actually 'why?'. Why should we make our product smart and/or connected? Who do we help with that? And is that enough value for the customer to actually ask for an extra price? And what if we don't know our end customer, because our products are sold through distributors, integrators or other intermediaries? One thing is for sure, we should not make our products smart and/or connected just because the technology is available.

Inspiration from the field

How can you put such a smart product idea into practice? How can you ensure that your smart product effectively adds value for your customers? This question is the focus of our workshop Turn your business idea into a smart product. The workshop consists of two parts. In the first part, we look at possible business ideas and the different motivations and risks involved in your choice. In the afternoon, we will provide you with a number of tools that can help you develop your business idea for a smart product. With our tips and the perspectives of the other participating companies, you are sure to return armed to the teeth to your company, to gear up your smart product innovation.

Want to find out more? Contact us.

(Image above: Shutterstock)