Do You Have a ‘Zombie Product’?

What Embedded Software Can Do for Your Product

After the £24 billion sale of ARM holdings earlier this year, it’s easy to see that the world of embedded technology and the ‘Internet of Things’ is growing exponentially. In fact, there are over 86 billion ARM processors out in the world today, providing incredible capabilities to a number of devices that dwarves the PC industry.

But the chips and processors are just the starting point. The software is the real lifeblood of any embedded device, without which, it simply wouldn’t work.

What do we mean by a ‘zombie product’?

It’s quick and easy to download generic software ‘out of the box’. There are extensive project templates and software libraries that can be used to add functionality to your product based on the hardware platform you’ve chosen.

But there are quality issues with this ‘out of the box’ software to consider…

– The software hasn’t been custom designed to suit your product, so there may be features you don’t need or want extended, which means you’ll never end up with the functionality you really wanted.

– Often, generic software actually contains sub-optimal code that performs poorly, which could lead to a less responsive, less competitive product.

– Your market and customers haven’t been considered when creating the software, because it comes ‘ready-made’ to be applied to any market. This means the experience your customers have with your product and therefore their perception of the product’s quality could be compromised.

– The software will not reflect your brand, in terms of quality, appearance (where UIs are involved) finesse, simply because these core values of your business haven’t been considered in the creation of the generic software.

In our anecdote, your product is akin to a human body, and the chip/processor is like a brain. Without a brain, the body would be lifeless and limp, without any means to control its limbs etc. This is why processors are so key in the technology world right now!

So what is happening inside the brain? If you know your horror movies, you’ll know that zombies are typically humans who have regressed, for one reason or another, to seeking their base needs (such as finding food to kill and eat, obviously!) and performing their simplest functions (walking, chewing etc). It’s as though their other brain abilities of thinking, feeling and understanding, have been switched off, and they are only using a small, purely functional, part of their brain power.

But what has this gruesome metaphor got to do with embedded software? We’re getting there, promise!

We believe that if you program generic out of the box software in your product’s ‘brain’ (aka processor), you’re only going to get the minimum capabilities from your product –  like a zombie! The generic software contains no personality, identity or charisma; it can only perform the functional necessities.

Bringing your product to life with custom embedded software

Yes, having bespoke embedded software made for your product is a more expensive option (we’ve discussed the costs involved and why in another blog post!), but if you are invested in creating a high quality, brand-aligned product, it’s definitely something you should consider.

It also means you won’t end up with a ‘zombie product’.

Custom embedded software isn’t just about the basic functionality; it is designed specifically for you with your brand and customers at the heart, giving it a unique personality and charisma that a zombie lacks. It turns your product into a device that your customers actually enjoy and want to use, and one that people associate with your brand in a positive way. This is where true value is added.

It really is amazing that the power of embedded software is coming out of the shadows and moving from a ‘Cinderella Industry’ to being recognised for quality and innovation, and we’re honoured to be on the cutting edge of this technology.

Don’t let your device be just a body without a personality! Get in touch to find out how we can breathe life into your product with our custom embedded development.