Connected Products Studio Report

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  • Connected Products Studio A Feasibility Study Prepared by Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino & Pilgrim Beart February 2014

  • Table of Contents Executive Summary 3 Objectives, Scope & Methodology 4 The Connected Products Landscape 5

    - Overview 6 - Analysis

    The Connected Products Process & Pain Points 10

    - Analysis of Pain Points 11 - Leaning from the market 12

    Connected Products Studio Resources 14 Innovation Processes 16

    - Connected Technologies Library & Demo Space 16 - Showcase Events 19 - Connected Products Design Workshops 21 - Pilot Program 23

    Building blocks 24

    - Connected Technologies Library o Recommended Components 28 o User Journeys 32

    Conclusions & Recommendations 34 Appendix 36

  • Executive Summary The Connected Digital Economy Catapult has worked on scoping the role of a Connected Product Studio (CPS) through a series of activities including a stakeholder workshop, interviews with various experts and desk research. The authors of this report researched and documented the landscape of connected products in the UK, the resources already at hand and the pain points early stage businesses were experiencing. They then developed up innovation processes to resolve them within the context of a dedicated space to be housed in the Innovator Centre, CDECs new home in London. Key pain points related to the challenges in turning a very early stage prototype into a product which adequately addressed hardware and software development issues. Networking opportunities between early stage entrepreneurs and vendors of these technologies was also highlighted as a potential activity. Understanding how corporate partners could contribute to this ecology, either in procuring help from entrepreneurs or vendors or partnering with startups was the third key pain point. This report offers a straw man for some of the activities the CPS could conduct over the course of a 6 month pilot program. It makes sure to highlight the strengths and weaknesses for each processed and learnings from past industrial and governmental programs in similar spaces (local development agencies, R&D spaces, etc). The report finishes with conclusions and recommendations for moving forward with the CPS as a third space for entrepreneurs, corporations & technology vendors to meet, collaborate and accelerate the development of successful connected products and therefore businesses in the UKs unique business landscape.

    Objectives, Scope & Methodology In response to the recent growth in governmental and industrial interest in the development of connected devices in the UK (commonly referred to as internet of things, quantified self, smart cities, citizen science devices) the Connected Digital Economy Catapult requested a report on the feasibility of a Connected Products Studio (CPS). This physical space would be carved out of the upcoming Innovation Centre near Euston station in London and would be dedicated to help accelerate the development of connected product prototypes into commercially viable products by a range of practitioners. The objective of this report is to elaborate on what that role the CPS should play considering existing1 and growing industrial, academic and entrepreneurial landscape. It will also identify some key opportunities and pain points which the CPS can address based on consultations


  • with experts and develop innovation processes that would help resolve those pain points within the context of a possible pilot program. Building blocks for the CPS will be described and examples of how customers might interact with them will be outlined.

    The Connected Products Landscape Overview If a space is to be truly useful to industry, we must start by identifying who would use the space and for what reasons. Startups There are growing number of start-ups across the UK and Europe that fall under the connected products category. They are often SMEs or micro-SMEs, at an early stage of development and taking advantage of the rise of crowd-funding to help bootstrap the commercialisation of a next-generation physical product.

  • Examples of these often consumer-facing connected products are shown below2 and fall under 4 categories: home, wearables, maker tools & smart city applications.

    Industrial SMEs & corporations Other companies working in this space include SMEs in B2B applications (military, communications, blue chip) that have started adding sensor networks or internet connectivity to existing product lines. Larger corporations such as Cisco, IBM, Intel have entered the connected products discourse with either large marketing campaigns (Internet of Everything for Cisco, Smarter Planet for IBM) or hobby/DIY centric tools (RaspberryPi, mbed by ARM, Galileo platform by Intel) but their problem space is not the one this report will focus on as the market dynamics for companies is easier to resolve by natural market dynamics. Consumer goods manufacturers Corporations in the consumer product space are currently looking to explore the potential of


  • new technologies in a dedicated space where they can ascertain the validity of an idea more quickly and meet possible vendors before deciding to invest in resources (new hires & tooling). These types of businesses represent a possible market for the CPSs paid activities and we will dive into proposing ways to interface with them in the next chapters. Analysis Startups and SMEs currently have access to a number of spaces and processes which try to encourage the development of next generation products in various ways. Either US-based with access limited to a small number of startups or focused on giving access to space / resources, there are no UK-based physical spaces that are completely dedicated to these types of businesses and their unique challenges.

    Name Type Location Elevator Pitch Physical Resources

    Funding Duration # of members

    Mayo Clinic / Optum Labs 3

    Research centre

    MA, USA A neutral setting for collaboration on research and innovation focused on improving patient care and lowering the costs of care.

    Office space No Ongoing TBC

    Springboard IOT4 (2013)

    Incubator London / Cambridge

    Springboard IoT will bring the core methodologies used by Springboard Web & Mobile to massive success with entrepreneurs, partners and also corporates that have pre-existing experience within this sector to create the world's first accelerator bootcamp programme for the Internet of Things.

    Makespace in Cambridge, office space at Google Campus in Old Street

    15K for 6% equity

    13 weeks 11 startups

    R/GA Incubator5

    Incubator NYC the first agency-based accelerator program focused on startups that are creating connected devices and applications.

    Unclear $20K + possible 100K convertible loan

    3 mo 10 startups

    Level 39 Incubator London Level39 is Europes largest accelerator space for finance,retail and future cities technology companies.

    Office space None, paid for services

    Ongoing 10+ startups

    3 4 5

  • British Library IP Centre6

    Business / IP support

    London can help you start, run and grow your business.

    Class rooms, IP research computers, Inventors

    None, paid for services

    Ongoing 40+

    Institute of Making7

    Materials Library / Seminars

    London a cross-disciplinary research club for those interested in the made world: from makers of molecules to makers of buildings, synthetic skin to spacecraft, soup to diamonds, socks to cities.

    Workshop None, paid for services and access to UCL staff & students

    Ongoing TBC

    Makerversity8 Workshops London a making and learning space [...] for makers, experimenters, production & entreprise. A place for pioneers & prototypes.

    Office Space, rapid prototyping, CNC

    None Ongoing Just opened

    Haxl8r9 Incubator Shanghai / SF

    is a new kind of accelerator program. For people who hack hardware and make things.

    Office Space, rapid prototyping, CNC, access to manufacturing

    $25K 3 mo 10 startups

    What has been popular in the UK and accessible to startups in the early stages of development, are so called maker spaces. There are currently over 30 such spaces in the UK which are accessible (through either memberships of around 10/month or on a drop-in basis) to a team or individual with an idea for a product that they would like to prototype.

    6 7 8 9

  • Most of these spaces offer a minimum of access to soldering, laser cutting and 3d printing facilities that would otherwise be available professionally (services offered by the architectural modeling industries1011or in university engineering & desig