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Silicon Designer Looks at Smart Home Developer Preferences


A large multinational silicon manufacturer was interested in entering the smart home market through offering hardware development kits to traditional product manufacturers with little experience in connected devices. They asked Harbor to help them identify the requirements for the hardware development kit and as well as ancillary service and support features that developers would require.


With existing development kits being such a competitive and saturated market, Harbor worked closely with smart home product developers within traditional home product companies as well as thought leaders and experts in smart home devices to identify the developer pain points and requirements for a truly valuable hardware development kit.

Process and Outcomes

Harbor began by interviewing a number of well-informed experts in the area of smart home device development in order to gain insight in how to frame questions that would lead to insightful conclusions in a survey towards a larger developer audience. Then, Harbor launched a 300-response survey to both hardware and software developers fluent in smart home device development tools. Harbor coupled this survey with in-depth interviews with business and marketing executives at smart home product companies to gain additional insights into the market positioning, pricing, and strategic implications that would help inform our development kit recommendations. At the conclusion of this large-scale outreach, we worked closely with the marketing and product management team for the hardware development kit on creating an actionable framework for determining the core components that would be necessary to include in the hardware development kit for a successful launch.


The hardware development kits for smart home devices are a crucial entry point for the client into the rapidly-expanding smart home chip market. By leveraging our simple, actionable intelligence on the required features of the kit, the client will be able to maximize the impact of this particular entry strategy in driving chip manufacturing revenue for their entire smart home division. Our constant collaboration and simple, actionable outputs proved useful in garnering internal support for the project within the client’s organization.


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