If you’re developing a new electronics product, there are many steps between a good idea and getting it into the marketplace. Here are some of the items you’ll need to cover. All of them may not apply to every product concept.
Beyond the technical functioning of your product, you should test how well it’s received by potential consumers. Focus groups and surveys are two ways to find out how people perceive your prototype product. Finding out that your product’s functions are not working as expected or are not well understood at an early stage can save a lot of money down the road.
For electronics products, an assessment by an independent lab is often necessary. They will look at your product to determine that it works safely and doesn’t pose electrocution or fire risks. The product should work properly and safely even under adverse conditions and contain safeguards against misuse.
FCC Type Approval
If your product emits radio waves, you will need to obtain FCC type approval. This process ensures that your product does not emit radio frequencies (RF) outside of the permitted frequencies of operation, nor transmits at a higher power level than authorized. Your product should also be shielded from RF to avoid interference to it. However, for the most part consumer electronics must accept interference from other devices which are working as designed.
Obtaining a Competent Authority Approval (CAA) for your product and its packaging is also sometimes necessary. This process determines if any hazardous materials procedures must be followed when shipping your product. With many high-profile cases involving batteries in the recent past, this situation is more common than you may think.
Your new electronics idea may be a game-changer, but it’s unlikely to make an impact if it can’t be brought to market. These are some of the things you need to look out for.