We all interact with a plethora of hardware devices on a daily basis. From the coffee machine that makes your morning brew, to the vehicle for your daily commute and everything in between, all devices follow the same tried and tested development process. How long that development process takes depends on the complexity of the hardware, how much of it is carried over from existing products, and how much of it is new and innovative.
Let’s go through the standard product development process for hardware, breaking down the three key stages and pinpointing Lasso’s progress in our product development: Ideation, Development, and Validation.
The image below shows the basic steps of the Product development process, starting with the Ideation phase or, to use a more common term, R&D- the abbreviation of research and development.
From the diagram, this looks to be a quick and straightforward part of the process. However, it can be one of the most prolonged and complex steps depending on the product. This is due in part to how many innovative features need to be developed and how long that process will take.
Most new home appliances are not actually ‘new’, they have a few new features or a new look but the core technologies are typically carried over from existing products. Those products are already being manufactured and sold, limiting the Ideation phase to any new features or updates.
As the first of its kind, the Lasso domestic recycling appliance had nothing to carry over, requiring the engineers to start from scratch. To start, the Lasso engineers took inspiration from existing industrial machines, helping to develop a process for the sequence of operations required to successfully execute a domestic recycling system. This enabled them to build out additional technologies and operational sequences where there was no existing solution, developing new technologies and processes along the way.
Each aspect of these technologies needed to be researched, designed, fabricated, bench tested, optimized, and retested until they performed as required.
Once the optimal technologies had been developed, they were then bought together into a “Proof of Concept” prototype, showing they could work together holistically and deliver results. However, there’s still a long way to go before the POC becomes a production-ready appliance fit for home use.
From start to finish, the Ideation phase to produce the POC prototype took three years and a great deal of hard work but is closer than ever to a full consumer rollout.
A culmination of invaluable information has enabled us to move Lasso forward to the Engineering Development phase. From preliminary research and development to finalizing the pilot, here’s a quick look at how we got here:
- Gained information from developing the proof of concept prototype
- Taken feedback from reservation holders about how they anticipate interacting with the appliance
- Worked with industrial designers to assist with the look of the final product
The Engineering Development phase will require the engineering team to be expanded. During this stage of development, the team will take the systems initially designed for the proof of concept stage and refine them. This will optimize each one with particular attention to the efficiency of operation, reliability, noise, and most importantly, safety.
This particular phase of the development will take approximately 12-18 months, resulting in a ‘looks like, works like’ engineering prototype that is safe and ready to trial in people's homes.
Once the Engineering prototype is complete and approved, 100 Lasso at-home recycling appliances will be produced to Beta test in homes for a six-month trial. During that time, engineers will closely monitor the performance of the appliances, making occasional updates based on the feedback from these trial units.
In parallel with the pilot program, the initial manufacturing facility will be established, and the final certification gained will allow the appliances to be launched and sold to the general public.
You might think that is the end of the product design process, but getting a product to market is only the first step in a product's lifecycle.
The standard hardware development process can be a rather complex and unique undertaking, but these are the products that are changing the way we live and how we care for our planet.
First, there’s the Ideation stage, where ideas are born and concepts are initially executed. Then comes the Development or engineering stage, where the hardware is finely tuned to finalize the design and ensure quality. Finally, the hardware reaches the Validation stage, where all the work is brought together and the product is prepared for mass production.
Inspired to bring a Lasso domestic recycling appliance into your home? Be the change you want to see in the world and support this innovative technology through development!
Check out our pre-order page and reserve your Lasso today!