Full-Service Product Development for IoT Connected Devices

How to Get Started Developing IoT Connected Hardware Devices

Trusted to Design, Develop, and Engineer Manufacture-Ready Products by the World’s Most Innovative Brands

Everything You Need To Bring Your New Connected IoT Device to Market

pedz concept design sketches
pedz 3d opened showing inside engineering

Complex IoT Technology Stack Creates Challenges

Companies are aware that IoT development is difficult, but most underestimate how difficult.

The development projects for even the simplest IoT products must integrate technical elements and coordinate the activities of experts from many disciplines.

System testing, security, maintenance, support, warranty, regulatory compliance, data governance, and user privacy also pose new challenges—IoT development faces unique obstacles in all these areas.
No wonder the risks of delays, cost overruns, and overall failures are so great.

To help companies understand the complexity of IoT device development, we created the IoT technology stack diagram below. It shows IoT devices comprise multiple technology layers, including the physical device, IoT cloud platform, embedded software, network communication protocols, and security.

IoT Technology Stack Model


What Clients Say About Working With Design 1st

George Tsintzouras

Director of Product, Christie Digital

Immediately understood what was needed

When we wanted to transition our older generation projector models to a more modern look and feel, Design 1st was a valuable asset. Given the depth of their design and engineering experience, Design 1st immediately understood what was needed. They worked with our internal engineering team through the process to provide us with compatible solutions to meet our needs.

Stephen Rayment

VP Engineering, Ericsson

Our trusted engineering partner for six years

Design 1st has been our trusted industrial design and mechanical engineering partner for over six years and they have proven themselves to be valuable, competent and committed to our success. They add value because they understand the tradeoffs between user value and cost, the need to balance both the business and product objectives, along with excellent knowledge of materials and manufacturing / tooling options.

Mike Tettenborn

VP Engineering, Caframo

Right balance of art and engineering

We selected Design 1st because their designers and engineers demonstrated the right creativity and technical understanding. With their CAD and modelling tools they were able to address the numerous design challenges encountered with this type of product. The end result was an easy-to-install, powerful marine hatch fan – unlike any on the market.

Kurt Francis

Co-Founder, CTO, Molecule

Deepest bench of technical talent

I did a lot of due diligence on product development companies and Design 1st had the deepest bench for technical capability. They worked on such a broad range of products with successful commercialization. Design 1st’s early efforts in prototype development helped us move from a powder substrate into a commercially product for testing.

John Lupton

Director of Engineering, GeoSight

Got up and running fast

The whole design was my idea and I had patents on them. The team’s main work was to solve the functionality issue of a piece of my design. On top of that, they helped identify one of our manufacturers.

Didi Horn


Exceeded Our Expectations

The Design 1st team exceeded our expectations and helped us deliver an exceptional product to the market. As a startup, we were working within a budget but expected the highest quality product. Design 1st identified the risks up front, had the vast network of partners to find the right components, and customized it to meet our unique needs.

Awards & Certifications

Design1st Projects Have Received 75+ Awards 

Frequently Asked Questions

Depending on your new product design’s complexity, it will take 2 to 12 months to complete the 4-stage development to the manufacturing process. Your design idea goes through concept exploration and engineering, 3D prototyping, user testing, and transfer to manufacturing.

Our manufacturing setup experts will help you identify and secure trusted part suppliers and a contract manufacturer (CM) onshore or offshore as your project objectives require. We facilitate the process, helping coordinate the CM and parts supplier relationships, product batch builds, injection tooling approvals, quality plan, test verification, Bill of Materials management, and parts supply coordination.

Mistakes early on in IoT hardware development can cast a long shadow during production.

Experience and effective project leadership are crucial for success.

That is where Design 1st can help. We have successfully developed connected products for over 22 years (since 1996), and know how to embrace the ever-changing nature of wireless standards, protocols and IoT platforms. This includes developing products during the rise of RFID technology in the late 1990’s to SigFox, LTE-M, LoRa and BLE today.

Plus our team includes a broad array of experts, with specialties in embedded systems, firmware, RF, industrial design, mechanical engineering and manufacturing support. This means you get access to a wealth of talent — all the skillsets you need to get to market fast.

So, whether you are a hardware startup looking support, or a software company looking to launch a hardware-enabled SaaS service we can help.

We work with you to set all project requirements. This early planning strategy ensures a predictable development process while reducing costs.

NDA’s ensure confidentiality for both parties during conversations. We provide a mutual NDA where the terms apply to both parties. If your organization has an NDA that requires our signature, we handle this through email.

Designing a new connected devices starts with a Concept Design (CD) stage. First, business, marketing, and design teams plan a potential product concept to deliver unique customer value.

An experienced development team can facilitate the requirements definition, oversee the creative design engineering process, provide manufacturing feasibility, and estimate the cost of product and development. A concept design exploration and product architecture definition for a new product idea takes 200 or more hours, depending on the knowledge of the user-buyer, the complexity of the design, the number of custom components, product safety requirements, and any formal documentation required.

Expert fully integrated product Design/Engineering teams in North America have rates from $100 to $ 400 per hour. After a phone discussion, we provide a Design budget based on your project’s specific needs. Call us for a chat.

Click here for more information on our development phases.

Connected IoT Product Development: Done Right, the First Time

Design 1st integrates our knowledge and expertise with yours to bring your product idea to life