Every day we learn more about humanity with the help of the technology in our lives. We increasingly interact with smart technology stemming from fitness trackers and embedded sensors to even rudimentary autopilot systems that give us new insights of the world.
Smart technology forms the foundation of modern society and Internet of Things (IoT) devices are shaping our future. As our designs get more complex, they require more communication, community, and collaboration between the devices themselves and the design teams. Our lives have become forever intertwined with technology and it is our responsibility to grow with our technology. As technology embeds itself into our lives, our lives will shape technology. When was the last time you spent an entire day without a little help from your smartphone?
IoT and Communication
Smart devices make daily data easily accessible to us from simple step counting to something as complex as our sleeping habits. Each device operates uniquely to fulfill our needs, but as these technologies spread, the need for our individual devices to communicate has grown exponentially. The secure communication of data between device systems is an imperative development to achieve a sustainable future for technological advancement. The more our devices communicate the more cross-discipline work is necessary to achieve our goals.
Just think about the technology we pack in our modern cars from the simple ABS and cruise control to wireless entry, bluetooth, and GPS to name a few. Imagine you want to get home after a long day’s work and there is a detour causing you to get lost. Finding your way home when lost requires communication between your keys, car, phone, and GPS satellites. You get home and your phone connects to your lighting system and turns on your living room lights and air conditioning. This is all possible today with limited communication between our devices; the future will have device interactions we haven’t even thought of yet.
IoT and Community
As engineers, we tend to see products from a specific viewpoint: ECAD, MCAD, software. We define the design aspect we are most familiar with in our careers as the most important cog; we forget that the most beautifully complex PCB design isn’t very useful without a proper enclosure or software. However, technology is more than the sum of parts. In the world of IoT, all of the cogs must cooperate perfectly to make the machine function properly. Taking time to understand the needs of the other members of the design community helps the collective technological progression. Working together will always prevail over working in isolation.
IoT and Collaboration
Learning to collaborate with other groups in the design community facilitates great product design. Collaboration unifies design intent and implementation to form a great, viable product. If we demand collaboration between our devices, why aren’t we more open to collaboration with other types of engineers? Working with other engineers shouldn’t be a guessing game.
The design community, ECAD, MCAD, and software, must come together to facilitate successful creation of IoT products. Collaboration between design teams doesn’t have to be a hassle. We should strive to maximize collaboration in our design process to create higher quality products.
You can’t afford to have a disconnect between your design teams and tools. Bridging the gaps between ECAD, MCAD, and software development will benefit all parties and result in higher quality products. Check out what Altium Designer can do for your design collaboration.
About the Author
David Haboud is a Product Marketing Engineer at Altium. He studied electrical engineering with an emphasis in computer architecture and hardware/software design at the University of Southern California. David began his career as an embedded software engineer in the aerospace industry and has always strived to make it easier for hardware and software engineers to communicate. During his tenure as an embedded software engineer, he focused on firmware development and data acquisition for auxiliary power units. In his spare time, David hosts and performs in improvisational and stand-up comedy nights in San Diego, California.More Content by David Haboud