Next Gen Product Design Stories

Written By: Cat McClintock
  • 8/13/2017

Wearables, IoT, and the Plane of the Future

What's new in product development this week? Here's our nominees for the top stories ...

Hear me now: Wearables market worth $4.5 billion

That’s a lot of money. And many companies are scrambling to develop products to meet that demand. Sure, there are exercise trackers, watches, and other devices that are tapping into health-conscious app users. But, here’s a surprising factoid:  hearing aids are kind of hip now. And they’re about to explode on the market. A new bill is allowing the marketing of over-the-counter hearing aids by brands like Bose and Beats, meaning there’s going to be some real cool designs for hearings aids in the next couple of years. Here’s the question, though: How can designers and engineers improve on the simple, legacy designs of the hearing aid?


 Traditional hearing aid

Elegant, simple, and useful. An early hearing aid from the 1930s. Source: Wikimedia

Better experiences with IoT

Chances are you’re designing for IoT products (and if you’re not, why not?). Designing for IoT brings with it many challenges, and one of the big challenges is remembering the user. How will they use your product? Is it intuitive? Is it easy to use? These aren’t new problems for designers and engineers by any means, but they seem amplified for IoT. This piece provides some tips on how to successfully work through an IoT project. The big takeaway? Always remember how your product will be used. Here’s a quote that best sums up the post: 

Think about electricity. Consumers don’t care about the technical challenges that had to be solved to make it flow through their walls, and they couldn’t tell an amp from an ohm if their life depended on it. All that matters to them is that when they flip a switch (or trigger a motion sensor), the lights come on. That’s the kind of natural simplicity and invisibility IoT needs to achieve. 

NASA and the design of next-gen aircraft
What’s the first company that pops into your head when you think of aircraft design? For us, it’s Boeing. But hold on, because
NASA has something to say about that. If you look at plane design from 20, 30, 40, even 50 years ago, the design of commercial planes hasn’t changed that dramatically. Incrementally, sure. But for the most part, you’re flying in a tube, with wings. NASA is in the final stages of designing and testing five new experimental aircraft (or X-planes) that will fly beyond the speed of sound without generating disruptive sonic booms, will reduce fuel usage by upwards of 50 percent, and prove the practicality of electric propulsion for air transport. And, there’s more: A new bill —the Aeronautics Innovation Act (H.R. 3033)—encourages NASA to pursue innovation in unmanned aircraft systems and small, individually operated vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.


 NASA planes

NASA has some great ideas and designs for the next generation of air flight. This statement is what is known in the photo caption world as an “understatement.” Source: NASA

 We’re on Instagram!

Instagram is a great visual tool to help capture and share our ideas, show off our customer’s designs and illustrate how we work with CAD (and work with each other). If you’re on Instagram, follow us here.

 All_Things_Creo cap

Hashtag all_things_creo.

The Future of Design

With technology always changing, it can be difficult to know where product development is going next. Download PTC’s “10 Expert Insights: The Future of Product Design in the Age of Smart & Connected Devices.” Learn from industry leaders as they predict how you will be designing products in the near future to help you stay ahead in our rapidly changing industry. 

  • CAD
  • Industrial Internet of Things

About the Author

Cat McClintock

Cat McClintock edits the Creo and Mathcad blogs for PTC.  She has been a writer and editor for 15+ years,  working for CAD, PDM, ERP, and CRM software companies. Prior to that, she edited science journals for an academic publisher and aligned optical assemblies for a medical device manufacturer. She holds degrees in Technical Journalism, Classics, and Electro-Optics. She loves talking to PTC customers and learning about the interesting work they're doing and the innovative ways they use the software.