An In-Depth Guide to Wireless Product Development

Mallika Khandelwal

13th Jan'23
An In-Depth Guide to Wireless Product Development | OpenGrowth

Wireless product development is a process that requires attention to and awareness of elements that ordinary product design and development would not demand of teams. 

Every step in the process, from prototyping to manufacturing the finished product, adheres to wireless product development standards.

Here’s an in-depth discussion on conducting wireless product development while ensuring a timely, cost-effective process without missing any of the right bases.


Refining The Idea

How well an idea is conceived highly influences the following stages of product development. Most successful firms result from an idea augmented with proper growth strategies.

Continue to refine the concept until you can explain why the wireless product is necessary, how it will be used, by whom, and where. Use case scenarios to understand and map out these requirements.

Wireless product designs are often faced with problems that are solvable through wireless technology only.

While refining the case scenarios, consider the desired value that the product should deliver. The simplicity of the design is vital. Over time, the marketplace has shown that simple designs often perform better. 

During the prototyping phase, eliminate complicated and overly complex designs developed during the idea phase. Consider the following:

  • Account for the fees associated with pre-scan and formal testing - This will guide and drive the costs and schedules

  • Incorporate provisions on the product’s functionality - These will come in handy during the debugging and lab testing.

  • Provide several preliminary products before starting the testing stage. Each level of product testing will require a new or improved product.


Wireless Product Development

Meeting the Wireless Product Certifications and Requirements.

The certification process of wireless product development is one of the unique aspects of designing the product. As early as the design stage, work with several regulatory authorities and bodies to help formulate the product requirements of the end product, including UL, PTRCB, and FCC.

The specific certification required varies depending on the product’s intended use and locality. Pharmaceutical wireless products, for instance, require FDA certification. Wearable devices need SAR testing to determine how much energy the skin will consume. 

Cellular radios must be FCC and PTCRB certified to test their limits for power radiated and spurious emissions and to ensure that the end product works with specific carriers.


Conceptualisation and Designing

Once the product requirements have been defined and, initial testing is complete, teams can now work to refine the product design. This stage in the wireless product development process includes designing the whole electro-mechanical architecture. 

It also involves conducting a trade study, noting requirements, and coordinating the testing of the prototypes’ fabrication.

The plan and design stage will also involve implementing the design drawings and creating the documentation for the design to manufacturing transition. 

While seemingly brief on paper, the steps in this stage are often repeatedly taken, and the product is constantly tweaked, from the idea stage to the product stage.

For cost-effectiveness, when building the prototypes, consider several steps down the line, anticipating the manufacturing feasibility while still in the design stage.

For instance, consider how to procure the components and whether it's possible to consult a procurement partner.

Consider aspects of the product design that may be easily overlooked for "flashier" functionality and address them. Performance features like how long a wireless product operates on a battery can determine the success of your product in the market.


Wireless Product Development


Final Testing and Certification

Conduct in-house pre-scanning and testing before sending the final product prototype and paying for the tests. For instance, check that the product doesn’t exceed the transmit power allowed to attain a particular bandwidth or range. 

Examine the received sensitivity for any unintentional radiation.

Once your mock testing checks out, send the prototype to the certification house. Once approved and complete, attach all the essential certification labels.


Product Design Partners

When unsure whether to work with a product designer, compare what you need to procure for the wireless product design to come to life with what’s available in-house. Consider firmware, antennae, electrical, and mechanical design. 

Can the organization fully provide this expertise without compromising on quality? If not, outsourcing different experts in product design will ensure the quality of your final product.


Wrap Up

The marketplace and the success of an end product are determined by how well all of the preceding stages were carried out. Developing a long-lasting product is no walk in the park, but a proper breakdown of the process makes the work much more manageable and product-market-fit can be achieved.

Each step should be handled with the intention to eliminate as much back and forth from stage to stage. However, never tire of sending a product back to the idea, design, or manufacturing stage until the best idea is conceptualized.

With that, a good product is the best form of marketing. Stay keen on the process and watch the product sell itself!


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Mallika is incredibly passionate about all things in life. Hailing from the small town of Rajnandgaon, Chhattisgarh, she completed her schooling and had a bachelor's degree in engineering in Information Technology. Working in and around startups, she gained experience in Search Engine Optimization, Digital Marketing and Email Outreach. Currently, She is working as a Search Engine Optimization Associate at OpenGrowth, and is focusing on building her career in this very profound field and ...