Strategy Consulting for Smart Connected Devices

Digital transformation for devices means to leverage digital technologies and user experience design to create smart connected devices offering smart services in order to achieve business objectives. Smart connected devices enable manufacturers to gain user and context insights. This leads to smarter services, better customer experiences and more sustainable solutions. It supports the combination of product- and service-based business models.


A jointly developed vision can become the driving force on the wave of digital transformation. The formation of a cross-functional, interdisciplinary team supports the holistic approach. Design thinking methods tailored to smart connected devices lead to a clear structure and memorable visualization of ideas, use cases and value propositions. „Think big - start small“ should be the mantra on the way to break down the implementation challenges into smaller stages and make them financially feasible.

A drawing of an eye in a marker is intended to illustrate vision
A drawing of a device that is connected to a cloud service should explain the concept of IOT
A drawing of a route in a marker is intended to illustrate Journey


To turn a strong vision into reality, a structured breakdown into several dimensions is helpful. The assignment of user stories to key features creates clarity. This results in rough requirements for the device (e.g. sensors, interfaces), the cloud and connectivity. The detection of dependencies is therefore crucial for deriving a feasible roadmap.


From the breakdown of the vision and the roadmap, there is a need to develop and review concepts related to user experience, technology and business cases.

From user-friendliness to system architecture and pricing - the essential ingredients for the success of the product must be experienced and checked.

A drawing of a pen in a marker is intended to illustrate concepts

A holistic approach, customer orientation and agile product development lead to sustainable success.

A drawing of a small device in a marking is intended to illustrate MVP (minimum valuable product)


A “Minimum Viable Product” (MVP) is the first version of a product or service with just enough functions to inspire early customers and users. The main advantage of an MVP is to gain an even deeper understanding of the interests and behavior of customers without fully developing the product or smart service. This saves development costs, accelerates time-to-market and reduces the risks of the manufacturer.

Case Study: Air4Sup

Fast and Easy Air for SUPs

Providing people with the opportunity to easily in- and deflate their stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) directly at the lake is the core idea of Air4Sup. This reduces space and sound issues for the other swimmers and makes the utilization of SUPs more comfortable.

A drawing shows a mother with two children inflating their SUP at a pumping station


In the initial workshop we produce a large quantity of ideas that we systematically filter with our selected design thinking tools. Opportunity seeking and decision making are two recurring activities we perform several times throughout the workshop day.

A photo shows details of another workshop, where ideas were concretized with Air4SUP.


To turn a powerful vision into reality a structured break-down is important. Mapping user stories to key features generates clarity. Rough requirements for the device, cloud and connectivity emerge. Identifying interdependencies is crucial for deriving a feasible roadmap. Every single step on the journey needs to have clear objectives and deliver business value.


For data management and cellular network communication an IoT-ready embedded computing platform was chosen and populated with a various sensors.
In order to be independent from local WiFi/LAN availability cellular technology was chosen.
In the first iteration of a functional prototype we start with early scribbles. Subsequently we create wireframes and mockups for iterative testing with the intended user group. Our prototyping tools for screen based interactions are responsive, fast and easy to use.

A graphic shows the connection of the inflation stations for Air4SUSP with users or development partners
A paper prototype for a mobile device shows the first drafts of the user interface
A drawing that shows a user with a SUP board


Exposing our prototypes to real life environments via MVPs gains feedback on success factors. By collecting usage data we receive an realistic impression which features customers are using. Further, the data created by the users can be analyzed to possibly uncover latent needs.

A photo of a man on the beach with his SUP in his backpack ready to inflate at the Air4SUP station.


Vision Creation
Journey Development

Value Proposition Canvas
IoT-Use-Case Blueprints
Journey Canvas + Reporting