Inspiration for New Pet Products Often Come from Pet Owners

If you’ve got a furry friend, he’s no doubt a part of your family. The best ideas for a new product come from people like you that are inspired to improve your life, the lives of others and that includes your pets. Think about how you can take better care of your pet by inventing a better mouse trap to what may already exist or to invent a completely new device to hel feed, bath, walk or care for your pet’s well-being. You may have already been inspired by an idea but thought, “That’s impossible to create”. With the help of a product development company, your new pet product ideas can come to life. Not sure how to arrange your thoughts? The following are some ideas to
get you started on the right track.

Go On a Walk to Get Inspired

Take your pet on a walk and pay attention to everything your pal does. Does he want to stop at every puddle for a drink? From that simple act, you may be inspired to consider ways your pooch can get a cleaner source of water. Does your pet get anxious from loud noises or other barking animals you encounter? Perhaps some noise cancelling device would be a clever invention you could devise with the help of a new product engineer and some funding.

Playing With Your Pet Can Inspire You

Play with your dog, cat or other animal to see what really gets them excited. If you have a dog that likes to play fetch with a stick, you might consider a new style of launcher for a person that that lacks the strength to throw a stick or ball very far. The best ideas are those that can benefit a large group of pet owners, so we encourage you to consider the marketability of a product. Not every bright idea will be appealing to other pet owners. Cats for example get a thrill from chasing strings. My guess is that inventing a robotic string puller when you’re too tired to play may be a costly investment for the development stages, but the vast majority of cat owners may not find that idea too exciting and invest $20+ to buy one for their cat.

Pet Product Manufacturers are Cleaning Up

The American Pet Products Association estimates that pet owners will spend over $72 billion on products for their pets this year and that number continues to grow every year. Most of that is on pet food and the AAFCO regulates grocery products. But what about devices to help in the feeding and even evacuation of waste products? There has got to be a better way to handle cat litter…or do away with cat litter all together…right? Do you know how many pooper scoopers were sold in the US last year? Does Brooke Miller get a piece of all that action? Pet Life Today lists the top 50 Pet Clean up devices on the market in this article. If Ms. Miller had the right product development company helping her with trademarks, physical design engineering help and manufacturing, chances are she is sitting pretty on a pile of cash for her invention.

The Importance of Having Professionals on Your Side

I didn’t find any company headed up by Brooke Miller for this article, so I am assuming she did not clean up on her pet poop invention. Don’t let that happen to your idea for a new pet product. Not all new product development companies are considered equal and it is important you are guided down the right path by professionals that not only offer you the engineering design services you seek but can help you with the legal aspects of registering trademarks, conducting the market research required and believe in your product design ideas as much as you do. We offer product engineering help to inventors as well as the ins and outs of getting your product manufactured cost effectively. We can guide you on the right people to speak with concerning trademarks and sign a non-disclosure agreement, so your ideas are safe until your product ideas are protected.

The Features and Benefits of Fitness Tracking Technology

Fitness tracking devices have become popular health and wellness products. A wearable device designer should be aware of the types of data that can be collected and how sensors and other components work together to obtain, condition, digitize and transmit information. Learn more about how fitness trackers work and consider how your wearable device idea can benefit from sensor technology.

Fitness Tracking Data

Fitness trackers are capable of gathering a wide range of data. Product designers can consider whether a device they may be designing should be able to detect the following types of data:

  • Altitude: air pressure and impact on performance
  • Bioimpedance: resistance for measuring body mass, hydration and respiration
  • ECG/EKG: electrical signals generated by heart muscles
  • Heart rate: heartbeat when active or resting
  • Motion: movement in all directions, steps or sleep quality
  • Temperature: measures heat

Most leading wearables include altitude, heart rate and motion sensors. Bioimpedence, ECG/EKG and temperature sensors are somewhat less common. Designers should consider the intended uses and market for a device when determining which sensors to include. Our IoT design services can offer guidance during the product development process.

Wearable Sensors

Fitness tracking devices contain a variety of sensors. A wearable device designer may want to include some of the following components:

  • Accelerometer: 3-axis sensor tracks motion in all directions and counts steps
  • Ambient light sensor: reduces signal interference for optical sensors, adjusts screen brightness
  • Barometer: measures air pressure to determine altitude
  • Bioimpedance: tests resistance for measuring body mass, hydration, respiration
  • Biopotential: ECG/EKG electrical signals, R-R interval
  • Gyroscope: determines motion, rotation or physical orientation
  • Heart rate monitor: optical sensor that detects movement of blood in surrounding capillaries
  • Temperature: built-in component or patch that measures heat

Sensors connect to signal conditioning circuits and output is digitized by an analog-to-digital converter. Some product development companies get around the need for original design from the ground up by relying on integrated systems that combine basic sensors with signal processing, digitization and transmission components.

Tracking Benefits

There are many benefits to collecting data through sensors when combined with a well-designed wearable device and user interface. Most users appreciate step counts and exercise modes made possible with an accelerometer, barometer, gyroscope and heart rate monitor. Once raw readings have been conditioned and analyzed, this information provides a useful index for activity levels and overall health measurement. A wearable device designer will need to develop suitable methods for obtaining and presenting this data. IoT design services can be helpful to product development companies striving to create functional and user-friendly fitness tracking technology.

The Secret to Innovative Product Design

If you want your company to be a leader in your industry, it’s essential to have a constant flow of creative ideas that lead to innovative products. Some companies may struggle to come up with new ideas that lead to successful products. There are some ways you can help promote creative thought in your staff and encourage the development of unique product designs. Check out these tips to help you get more from your staff in product development.

Focus on Solutions

One effective way you can generate more ideas for product design is to focus on solutions instead of the final product. Generally, all companies are in the business of providing solutions to various problems for their customers. It’s up to your product design staff members to develop items that solve problems in the form of products or services.

Follow Product Category Trends

Next, it’s important to have a strong understanding of your current industry’s product category trends. Pay attention to what your competitors are doing and perhaps develop more thoughtful solutions. Attend as many industry conferences as you can, and network with other leaders in your field to have a better understanding of the current trends and atmosphere in your line of business.

Try Small Improvements

Another way to generate new ideas is to look for improvements in your current product line. It’s not always necessary to create an entirely new design that is vastly different from your current inventory. Sometimes, the best innovations take what is already in existence and improve it. Use customer feedback and staff suggestions to make something you already have much better.

Study Examples of Product Design

Creativity can also be developed by looking at other innovative product design ideas for inspiration. If you and your team are having trouble brainstorming new product ideas, looking at some of the coolest design examples from the past that can provide you ideas about new ways of thinking. Studying these examples may help inspire your team to create something entirely new and unique.

Partner With Design Firms

In some cases, it may make the most sense to get some outside ideas from product design engineering partners. In this situation, you can outsource your product design ideas and get results for your toughest customer problems with a fresh perspective. Partnering with a firm that specializes in engineering design services in your industry to help you jumpstart your own new idea-gathering process as well. With a specialized product design firm, you can focus your creative energy on making decisions about designs instead of getting frustrated with the lack of ideas.

Encourage Creative Thinking

The final tip to help your company be more creative is to encourage more creative thinking. Take more time to brainstorm and encourage any suggestions about new products from your entire staff instead of just a select few. Do more product design team building exercises and non-traditional work to access new ideas from each team member’s creative side. Think outside of the box instead of doing the same thing you’ve always done to get a different result. Creativity is difficult to produce on demand, especially with new product design ideas. Chances are you probably have some staff members who are creative thinkers but just need a push. Your task is to find these diamonds in the rough. Our medical device design division spends 2 hours every Friday morning to brainstorm new ideas. This time is always scheduled, and all employees are welcome. This is generally the best two ours of the week.

Meticulous Engineering in Medical Devices is a MUST

Medical device manufacturing is an intricate process that requires methodical execution in order to keep patients safe. Instruments should be designed with usability in mind. This gives those performing the procedures the greatest chance of consistent success and therefore continued use. Not only is a good design easier to use, but there are fewer risk factors involved when devices are well-engineered.

What Challenges Must Be Considered

The biggest challenge facing engineers is interpreting the relationship between the user and the device. Special consideration needs to be given to the way the average person perceives information and then acts based on what he or she has observed. The medical device designer must be intuitive about how the user may manipulate the device while performing prescribed tasks and maintenance tasks such as,  charging the battery and cleaning the device.

During product development, a design engineer has to keep in mind all phases of the product’s operation, from beginning to end. The user should be able to prep the instrument, use it and maintain it with ease, and the device should respond well to a human’s instinctive actions. Ergonomic concerns that should be addressed are:

  • How it fits into the user’s hand
  • The diversity of the users physical aspects and skill sets
  • What shape will work best for the intended purpose

How Proper Engineering Improves Usability

Devices are significantly easier to use when all human factors have been considered in the design process. Current technology has created common expectations when it comes to the way electronic devices work. By taking advantage of a person’s existing knowledge, engineers can build in functionality that is simple to operate based upon a user’s expectations.

If instruction manuals are more concise, users will have a much easier time comprehending them. Product design engineering companies also should prioritize patient safety, allowing a medical professional to use a device with confidence that the data they’re receiving is correct.

How Superior Design Reduces Risk

Managing risk is just as important to engineers as usability. A device needs to be able to supply the operator with accurate information, since these details are often used to make important decisions about their patient’s treatment and care.

Industrial design for medical devices should be intuitive enough that the potential for user error is low. The risk of malfunction needs to be thoroughly tested beforehand, with proper modifications to the product’s engineering to compensate for anticipated problems.

In choosing a firm to execute your product innovations, it’s important to pick the most meticulous industrial design services available. Get in touch today to start the process in bringing your medical device to fruition.

Medical Device Design Benefits From Functional Decomposition

Modern medical devices designers have the difficult task of trying to take on the role of both engineer and medical expert at the same time, meaning a new product development company has to spend extensive resources and design time submitting and resubmitting models for review by the appropriate authorities.

An ideal way around these obstacles is by involving medical professionals into the design process from the earliest stages of conceptualization. How? By using functional decomposition to identify key processes, create clear goals for needed inventions and make sure solutions work on paper before blindly forging onto mechanical design and prototyping.

How To Apply Functional Decomposition to Medical Device Design

The premise of functional decomposition is simple: to break down key functions into their most essential sub functions in an easy-to-understand diagram. Engineers first state a device’s proposed purpose in simple terms. Then they conceptualizing each step required for the development process:

  • General functions
  • Sub functions
  • Basic functions
  • Object of actions
  • Causes of actions

Can this method be applied to medical device design? Absolutely. Product development companies just need to assign new tags to familiar functions:

  • Performed_On: The patient – or patient organ – becomes the recipient of an action.
  • Performed_By: Doctors or components that cause an action.
  • Has_Environment: Environmental considerations such as sterility are stated.
  • input_flow: Indicates the need for mechanical energy in the procedure or device.
  • output_flow: Refers to the action of removing unneeded material from the patient’s body during a procedure.

These brief tagging examples show how even complex medical procedures or required medical actions on the part of a device can be broken down in a functional decomposition diagram, before ever starting to design a physical model.

An Example of Functional Decomposition in Practice

Consider the gastric compression band. What is the overall function of this simple device? To reduce the size of the patient’s stomach. This requires creating a diagram of the object – the stomach – and the action of applying compression from the medical device – the band. A simple flow chart indicates the steps required, including the presence of a new physical device.

Advantages of Using Functional Decomposition for Medical Device Creation

Here’s why taking the time to convert medical knowledge into digital data is valuable for medical device designers in many situations:

  • A searchable database reduces time needed to find effective subcomponents.
  • Past designs can be easily extrapolated from and expanded upon.
  • Larger teams offering engineering design services can work simultaneously.
  • Time-to-production is reduced for many complex devices.

By creating detailed functional diagrams prior to embarking on the medical device design services they were contracted for, the new product development company would have to start from scratch every time. In a way, functional decomposition becomes a pathway to new medical procedures. By employing functional decomposition, perhaps other product development companies in Philadelphia can be a translator that helps doctors and engineers understand each other clearly when talking about patient needs.

Moving Your Concept Past The FDA Requires Documentation

There is always a market for innovative medical equipment that advances healthcare, no matter how small the application. Maybe you have an idea that would improve an already existing device or a diagnostic apparatus that would revolutionize the patient experience. If you’re ready to transform your idea into a tangible product, you are at the beginning of possibly a long and sometimes complicated process of acquiring regulatory approval. Documenting every step of the way in a design history file (DHF) is an essential part of creating a new product that will meet with regulatory requirements.

What Is a Design History File?

The DHF is required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is a document that details every step of the development process and their guidelines are laid out in this FDA Code Title 21, section 820.30. The FDA requires this document to verify that you and your team’s methods fall in line with regulations for every component of the design control process, which includes the following:

  • Design and development planning
  • Design input
  • Design output
  • Design review
  • Design verification
  • Design validation
  • Design transfer
  • Design changes
  • Design history file

This recording process should generate a veritable mountain of documentation that is compiled into the DHF. The final file should be gathered into one document, that should also include an index for the researcher to follow easily.

How Will It Enhance the Development Process?

As a medical device designer, we know how complex the development process can be for most inventors. A DHF will help you keep everything organized. Knowing that this thorough documentation is required will remind you to keep meticulous notes. These notes can help to overcome obstacles that arise future along in the process by allowing you to backtrack and make adjustments where needed. Also, as you prepare to submit your medical device to the FDA, you can use the DHF to double check your methods. While the FDA requires this file for their own work, it is equally useful on your end.

How Will It Help Meet FDA Requirements?

When the FDA reviews your device, a lead reviewer follows and acceptance checklist that is very comprehensive and includes a review of the digital history file. An agent will review your DHF to make sure your product design & development process was properly documented and every medical device designer involved complied with applicable regulations. One of the main reasons for developing history files is to ensure that product designers for healthcare devices follow a strict code of ethics and product safety is of paramount importance during the engineering design process.

How To Design With Digital in Mind

Today’s consumers have higher expectations of products’ capabilities than ever before. With the fast growth of smart technology, everyday appliances can now perform some pretty amazing tasks, making the ease and convenience once relegated to science fiction a reality available to millions.

With new features come new difficulties.Due to their increased complexity, connected devices must be designed differently than their low-tech predecessors. There are several factors that can influence the user experience that a connected device designer should keep in mind.

Does the Interface Match the User’s Abilities?

During product design and development, the primary focus should be on the intended use and the potential users. Is this meant to be operated by someone with specialized knowledge and previous experience with similar devices? Or is this meant to be utilized by anyone, with no or minimal training required?A new product design engineer familiar with a product’s purpose should first seek to understand the intended users’ technological literacy and plan accordingly.

Does the Design Take Mental Models Into Account?

When confronted with a new technology, people generally try to make sense of the novelty by relying on their history with items similar in form or function. For example, users unfamiliar with a touch screen may double tap a word to highlight it based on their experience double clicking with a mouse.

An IoT product designer can also increase ease of use by utilizing organizational methods that most people easily recognize. Familiar ways of arranging information include:

  • Lists
  • Menus
  • Branching systems
  • Charts and tables

Users are more likely to be comfortable using a product if they can easily navigate the system provided. Asking consumers to learn new methods of organizing information may be asking too much if they just want to do something as simple as checking today’s forecast.

Does the Design Overwhelm the User?

Just because a product can do a lot doesn’t mean your design needs to showcase it all at once. An interface needs to be clean and concise to help users get the most out of their experience in the simplest way possible. Thoughtful design can facilitate ease of use with even the most complicated devices.

As connected devices become more commonplace, the role of an IoT engineer can prove vital to product design & development companies. These innovations not only promise convenience to the average consumer, but practical solutions to businesses and organizations. A connected device designer can contribute to quality of life by creating quality interfaces that allow both expert users and regular people to access the newest technology.