Predictions and Tips for Top-Notch Design Engineers

By Karolina Ladino-Puerto

Content Creation Manager

Rakwireless

August 24, 2021

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Predictions and Tips for Top-Notch Design Engineers

The breadth of opportunity to build and create has never been so vast for design engineers, technologists, builders, and modern innovators. Karolina Ladino-Puerto of RAKwireless describes some upcoming trends and predictions that design engineers should keep a close eye on for the rest of 2021 and into 2022.

Whether you are just starting your career as a design engineer or are a veteran in the space, keeping an eye out for what type of innovation and market disruption to anticipate as we approach the second half of 2021 is critical. Whether it be making sure you are planning for your designs to be AI-compatible or working to understand the nuances in IoT connectivity related to sustainability, keeping a close pulse check on what type of innovation unfolds in the next 6-8 months will help you stay ahead of the game.

Below are four notable trends that all design engineers should keep top of mind when designing smart, innovative products:

  1. Design with sustainability top of mind

According to Allied Market Research, the global green technology and sustainability market size was valued at $8.79 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $48.36 billion by 2027.

The culture of sustainability is shifting; green fuel and eco-friendly lifestyles amongst the technology you use have gone from a “good to have” to a “must.” We see massive organizations and even governments come to terms with the importance of sustainability - one example is the recently launched UN’s Sustainable Pathway Agenda. IoT touches many facets of sustainability - everything from agriculture to smart cities and roads, green transportation, and more eco-friendly manufacturing processes. IoT could be part of the answer that, as humans, we are looking for. IoT product designers and engineers represent a massive market opportunity to use smart design to propel this movement forward.

  1. Scalable and affordable: why accessible design is so important.

We are likely to see a market interest pivot even more towards using LoRaWAN parts because of their affordability and the fact they are readily accessible. Keep in mind the importance of affordability in your IoT product and engineering designs. Also, remember, the company you are designing for may look to lower costs to create your product - think about baking in a schematic of alternative cheaper ‘parts’ for various designs as a Plan B if needed. Also, from the end-user perspective, if the product has a fair cost, the user could buy more than one, depending on the solutions and needs. We are designing products to situations where the data we are achieving is significant and needs accessibility in cost and design to increase the use of IoT and enhance the solution, saving resources and having a considerable impact.

  1. Designing with AI in mind

Why is it important for design engineers to be familiar with AI and design requirements? According to Grand View Research, the global AI market was valued at USD 62.35 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 40.2% from 2021 to 2028. As this market becomes more relevant than ever before, as a designer, it's up to you to know how to ensure your products are AI compatible. Ask yourself, what would it take to make this design be AI consistent?

Start the discussion with your team and train them on what resources can help them become more familiar with AI. The IoT industry is starting to recognize the relevancy of AI - a recent 2020 IoT Adoption Survey conducted by IoT World Today echoes this notion, with 57% of respondents saying that they will use artificial intelligence and machine learning. As a designer, learning about the nuances of AI technology will be critical in the next few years. Ask yourself, how does AI-compatible design differ from traditional design practices? While not every design project you work on will incorporate AI - being aware of these trends and what these new technologies require will help you and your team stay ahead of the curve.

  1. Connectivity; Designing products for seamless collaboration

As many companies announce hybrid work models, we know that remote collaboration across the globe is here to stay. This means ensuring your IoT designs include simple host protocols, proven compatibility, and intuitive usability for product designers and engineers. It’s valuable that your designs connect seamlessly with other products to ensure connectivity is as easy as possible.

As we enter the second half of 2021, design engineers are entering an IoT industry ripe for massive growth. Researchers predicted that by 2025, the total number of devices is expected to grow to 75 billion, according to Statista Research Department, or 80 billion IoT devices, according to IDC. Driven by demand for ultra-connected healthcare devices, smart cities and offices, remote asset monitoring, and location services, design engineers will inevitably have a wider breadth of design and innovation opportunities than ever before.


Karolina Ladino-Puerto is a Robotics Engineer who has been dedicated to teaching about technology and interdisciplinary works. She currently holds the role of Content Creation Manager at RAKwireless – an industry-leading company powering IoT infrastructures with high-quality hardware.

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Karolina Ladino-Puerto is a Robotics Engineer who has been dedicated to teaching about technology and interdisciplinary works. She currently holds the role of Content Creation Manager at RAKwireless – an industry-leading company powering IoT infrastructures with high-quality hardware.

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