Two years ago, a self-driving Car was launched by Google. However, it was only a few minutes later that it blew brains of the people by stopping in the middle of the street when it confronted a woman seated in a wheelchair while she was chasing a running duck with her broomstick. The car took a halt till the road became clear and then started making an advanced contribution to the worldwide traffic safety.
The products have been evolved into smart and intelligent devices with embedded systems that are connected on the broader level, reshaping the product design, radically, on the whole. As the car stopped in the middle, this particular information has been sent to all the Google car by which no car will ever make a mistake when someone in a wheelchair comes across the street chasing a duck with a stick.
Another example that displays the advancement of product design is the changing design of smart thermostats. Designed to control the home devices by transmitting the individual data of the house to the manufacturers, these intelligent machines will be connected to a network that autonomously optimizes through coordination. The data that has been streamed on the location, environment, and operation will be sent to the makers who process it and then make upgraded products that eliminate all the errors.
This is where the Big Data comes into the picture through which a functional relationship will be formed between the manufacturer, the products, and the customers; while keeping the relation open-ended and continuous. Big Data, as a whole new revolutionary idea, is going to impact a wide set of industries and product design is not left untouched.
The engineers will start developing communication technologies like the sensors to embedded in the products, and it is estimated that by 2020, around 50 billion devices will be connected to the internet. The new data in product design is valuable as it is provided by the product itself and the value has been exponentially increased when it gets integrated with other forms of data say commodity prices, service histories, inventory locations and traffic patterns.
Here, listed are few ways in which product design, as an industry will be changed while taking Big Data into the picture:
- By learning how the customers will use the products, there will be much more data that can help in the customization of the product which will make it better informed and better built. However, the question lies in how to modify the features accordingly based on which features they are commonly using and which features they’re ignoring.
- According to Michelle Boucher, Vice President of Research Department for Building Engineering Software, Tech-Clarity, the Engineers will have various opportunities to acquire insights that were taught to be impossible with the help of Big Data where data can be streamed back to the designers. For example, imagine a utility cabinet that has sensors which transmit the data of temperature readings and based on that, the thermostat adjusts the temperature accordingly.
- While we are coming across many smart products already, the second phase starts with product designers providing us with the practical information about the usage of these productions. The products will be intelligently designed with tools and information discovery technologies that provide data to provide wisdom to the customers and to enhance the business performance.
- Traditionally, the product designers usually rely on the guesses on which design has the ability to outgrow the competitive products given the market status, the customer visits. But with big data in picture, tons of reliable data can be provided which all these channels do not usually offer. Using data to combine usability with new materials will spring devices forward too, just look at the galaxy glass among other handheld tech developments. Phones are already waterproof and shatter resistant, soon our handheld devices will be able to bend!
- Oleg Shilovitsky, a Management Expert, says that products throughout their life cycles generate information that has the potential to bring trends in Internet of things which provide more data for the manufacturers to make more feasible products. All that information assets that are collected can be transformed into consumable products with better efficiency.
- As products can talk back to the designers through data, the designers will be empowered with data that fasten the development as well. This might bring more participants towards the product design. Due to big data’s role in Product Design, the infrastructure of information technology in cloud computing will find new approaches for system engineering and concurrent designs involving mechanical, architectural, electrical and even software designs as well.
Concluding, with all these different disciplines in product design connected and accessing the big data throughout the various phases of the design cycle, the engineers will be confronted with many surprises and few unpleasant shocks as well. The real challenge will lie in solving these minute hassles and developing better products reaching a new level in the product design, as a whole.