Jon Darley

Director of Things


Many IoT projects fail. And there are many reasons for failure. Connectivity is a major one.

In many ways, cellular connectivity is great for IoT – secure, reliable, widespread coverage. But in other ways, it’s not.

Mobile networks are designed for people and phones, not IoT. Mobile network operators operate in siloed geographies, governed by local regulators. With little interoperability between operators and constant change in the telecom landscape, it’s difficult for IoT deployments to operate smoothly.

We have overcome these obstacles to offer global, ubiquitous connectivity for IoT devices, but even our sophisticated AnyNet+ eSIM and Connectivity Management Platform can’t connect devices that aren’t designed properly for cellular connectivity. Device design is absolutely key and connectivity must be factored in from the start.

Moreover, it goes beyond connectivity. IoT devices may need to withstand extreme temperatures and wild weather, operate in remote or inaccessible areas, or last for a decade on a non-rechargeable battery.

IoT device prototyping

Developing a working prototype is critical to IoT success. But this can take significant time – often 12-18 months. Many businesses fear their competitors will get to market first. And with no guarantee of a well-functioning device at the end, some are reluctant to invest in the process.

Designing IoT devices is hard. Finding an expert who understands the hardware and connectivity requirements can be the difference between an IoT project that succeeds and one that fails.

Here at Eseye, my team of engineers use our streamlined approach to fast-track a concept idea to a field-deployable working prototype in just 90 days.

The devices we design reach maturity (at least 1000 connections) in half the time achieved by most customers who design their own hardware.

Eseye’s rapid prototyping methodology approach is cutting our time to market by about 50%, which, in a fast-moving industry, is very important

Declan O’Brien, Director

How to design an IoT device

Understanding all the requirements and constraints is vital. We outline some key considerations below.

The IoT goal

Device design starts with understanding the goal of your IoT initiative. This goal drives the functionality and design of the device.

  • What data does your core application need from the devices?
    This determines the sensors and interfaces that your device needs to support.
  • What must your device do with the data?
    Processing can range from machine learning at the edge to a simple data forwarding mechanism.

  • Are there size constraints?
    A pacemaker must be tiny, a machine-operating device may need to house a sizeable motor.
  • Do the devices have to be battery-powered?
    If the batteries are not rechargeable or replaceable, the batteries must last for the device lifetime.
  • Fixed or mobile?
    Moving devices need to handle lost connections and changing coverage areas.

  • What are the conditions like?
    Devices need protection from anything that might cause failures, such as foreign objects, dust, and moisture. Every component must be able to operate within the required temperature range.
  • What’s the terrain like?
    Connectivity in rural, remote, or inaccessible areas is challenging. Obstacles can block the line of sight to a cell tower. Even changing seasons can impact connectivity.

  • Where will the device be deployed?
    What networks and roaming options are available to the devices?
  • What certification is required?
    Does it meet country, industry, and network operator standards?

  • What is the security risk?
    Cybersecurity is a key challenge in IoT. A secure by design approach is needed, with risk assessments and threat modelling to ensure your data and network are protected.
  • How many devices will you be deploying?
    As you deploy more devices, the ability to manage your IoT estate remotely can help control costs. By planning ahead, you can design devices with over-the-air software updates and management capability.

  • How frequently does the device need to connect?
    What are the performance, bandwidth, and latency requirements?
  • Are Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks required?
    Do you need power-saving options?
  • Do you need remote network switching?
    Have you considered using an IoT SIM with multi-IMSI and eUICC capabilities?
  • How will the connectivity be managed?
    How will you detect when a connection is lost? Will battery-powered devices connect for long enough to receive commands and data?

The Eseye IoT Device Design Service: How it works


The Eseye service combines our in-depth hardware design skills and extensive connectivity expertise.

Eseye IoT Devices Design Service Flow

During this phase, we work with your stakeholders and specialists to understand and develop your business concept.

Our agile delivery methodology iterates through design, development, and testing. This delivers key benefits:


At the end of the agile prototyping phase, you have a device design that you can take forward with confidence for development, field trials and testing.

Our service provides:

Designs built on IoT best practices:


We build a device using protocols that will support the interaction between sensors, devices, gateways, servers, and user applications that are needed for your project.

End-to-End Security

We build data security into our designs, including data encryption, managing updates, storage of sensitive security parameters

Hardware design

We help choose the best hardware to achieve your objectives, including battery optimisation, antenna selection, environmental constraints


The AnyNet solution gives zero-touch secure global connectivity, seamless integration to the cloud, and real-time automated monitoring and control.

Eseye Rapid IoT Prototype Design Service

RAPIER IoT Design Service

IoT product from concept to a working prototype in just 90 days with our modular HERA300 IoT device and RAPIER approach.

Eseye Custom IoT Device Design Service

Bespoke IoT design Service

We offer a bespoke service for more complex projects, for example, if you need specific components or advanced processing in your device.

Eseye IoT Device Design Service

Design Review Service

If you have existing designs or devices, we offer advice on resolving issues or making improvements to enable your device to better meet your requirements.

Jon Darley

Director of Things


Jon is an IoT hardware expert with over thirty years of engineering experience. He is the driving force behind Eseye’s rapid prototyping approach, helping customers to reduce their time to market by 75% with a robust testing process.

Eseye IoT Device Design Service

The AnyNet solution gives zero-touch secure global connectivity, seamless integration to the cloud, and real-time automated monitoring and control.

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