Connected Devices Are Transforming Markets — Are Your Designs Ready?

Is your design keeping up?

End-user and consumer expectations are quickly changing. The automotive industry is a great example of this driver-profile evolution.

When I was younger, I counted the days until I got my driver’s license. My daughter’s generation, especially her urban peers, gives little thought to driving.

They are growing up expecting to rideshare or use public transportation, so the value proposition of owning a car must outweigh the cost savings of not owning one. And those who own a vehicle expect the same seamless, connected operation in their vehicle that they get at home.

The way to meet this wide range of needs and expectations is through modularity – but that means there is no longer a single product profile that works across applications and industries.

Modularity involves options

While designers are still concerned with space constraints, profile and feature choices are becoming even more important. (Where traditionally a right angle would suffice, now the application might work best with a vertical connection, for example.)

These types of applications will require different flex-to-board (FTB) and board-to-board (BTB) connectors to improve efficiency and operation.

Where there’s more freedom in how a product is applied, there must also be consideration of how that new use performs in different speed, temperature, shock and vibration environments.

The bottom line: Increased environmental factors with fewer limitations means you need a more robust solution that also offers flexibility. 

Problem first, then product

This next generation of consumer is not looking for a product — they are looking for a solution.

For them, it’s not product first; it’s problem first.   

Rapidly changing market trends are posing big challenges for the design, development and application of micro connectors – and those trends require designers to rethink their assumptions.  Recently, Product Solutions Director Steve Drysdale and I hosted a Hackster webinar. We covered the transformational consumer device market and discussed the resulting need for high retention, compact wire-to-board connectors.

To keep our product development ahead of market changes, we spend time with communities of engineers and developers who are doing things differently than even a few years ago. Hardware-dedicated communities like Hackster are a place where we can quickly learn from hubs full of engineers with a vast array of experience, ideas, knowledge and priorities.

These are smart consumers who grew up finding answers on YouTube and Google. They are not setting limits for themselves, and neither should we. 

These communities are a unique ecosystem of learning and are the future of feedback on everything from higher data speeds to robustness and harsh environment requirements. These thoughts and perspectives influence not only how we develop products, but also how we envision solutions for today – and tomorrow.     

Learn more about Molex connectors and other products.  Join the Molex Hackster community