Technology & Innovation

Technology & Innovation

Our specialities are web development, camera-based technologiesmobile devices, and mathematics. We have successfully brought innovation to top research institutes, large consultancy firms, triple-A banks, leading phone companies, large retailers, and top-ranking universities. With extensive R&D experience throughout all phases of product innovation, we can help you out starting from the beginning to prototype development to full-scale deployment.

The beginning can be sparked by an idea, a technology, a market need, or even from nothing. The next step, before prototype building, is creating an enticing demonstrator which illustrates the concept in a quick and clear way. Prototypes are then built, during or after which marketing of the product takes place. The final stage is the integration of the prototype into existing clients systems. This can mean rebuilding the product by transferring the prototype to a development team, or fine-tuning the prototype to make it operational.

Technology and innovation are slightly risky by nature and managing projects and expectations correctly from the beginning avoids unwanted surprises

The life cycle of product development

There is a continuous feedback loop between the different stages of product development:

Ideation

Research is either problem or solution driven. In either case, ideas need to be generated and evaluated, a study needs to be made of the potential market and competition, (alternative) technologies needs to be assessed, new technical capabilities need to be explored, and patents need to get filed.

Prototype development

Years of experience has taught us that before building a prototype, an enticing and inspiring demonstrator is essential towards gaining support, thus ensuring project survival. A question we often get asked is how the demonstrator (animation) was made, and people are always surprised at how creative Powerpoint, Matlab, or Flex can be. We highly recommend building prototypes with the same technology as the final product!

Business development

Only in rare cases will a new product be so sensational that people will talk about it and spread the news for you. Most likely though, you will need to invest in marketing to make your company or product known. This requires completely different non-technical skills : good presentation, communication and networking skills are required and answers must be ready before questions are asked.

Testing & deployment

Around 40% of iPhone application development time goes into testing. This is nothing out of the ordinary. Testing and making a product fully operational can even take up to 80% of the time for areas like computer vision. We have successfully transferred many prototypes to development teams and are happy to help you out testing, managing a team of developers, integrating prototypes, or bringing the new products to market.

The human touch

An aspect which we emphasize on a lot are the non-technical skills required to bridge the gap between innovation and business :

  • Communication well with other teams
  • Finding, scoping and solving the right problems within your company
  • Streamlining interests and ideas with other people
  • Knowing how to market and bring across a message

We love working in ways that motivate people, hence we don’t like boring presentations. Make things enjoyable.

Learning from mistakes

Experience in academics and in industry, ranging from startups to large multinational firms, has taught us valuable lessons. There are many pitfalls that prevent companies from innovating successfully. Perhaps some of the following situations may sound familiar to you :

  • Lacking communication between teams
  • Marketing the product too early for financial reasons
  • Developing the first prototype takes longer than expected
  • Bridging the gap between the R&D team and the market or the rest of the company
  • Holding on too long to projects instead of switching to something new
  • Surpassing the time agreed time to make the prototype fully operational
  • Lacking structure amongst R&D teams, making coordination, planning, and transfers very difficult
  • Seeding false expectations. Excitement of a product wears off once realized things are not as easy as originally thought

An important note to make here is that companies often underestimate the time it requires to build a bug-less and well structured product. Time can be chaffed off on prototype development time, but in that case extra time has to be budgeted in during the transfer and deployment phases. We’ve seen managers getting fired and startups failing just because of this!

Having seen the above situations numerous times around us makes us aware of the risks, thereby putting us in a position to help you plan (budget) more efficiently.