Launch Week Wrap-Up: The Future of IoT and Embedded Development with Memfault

Memfault’s first Launch Week has come to an end and the community's response has been phenomenal. Thank you to everyone who has engaged with our team this week—it’s been fun!

We are extremely excited about the new features we unveiled, and in particular, the headline act that is Device Vitals. We believe Device Vitals will transform the way our customers (and hopefully the industry at large) think about product quality and performance for IoT devices.

Watch the video below to hear directly from the people behind the product.

 

The Future of IoT

The embedded engineering space is changing fast. What we now expect devices to do is drastically different from what it was even five years ago. As cliché as it may be to speculate on the impact of AI, it’s impossible not to ask: What is the current AI boom going to do to that trend? Certainly not slow it down.

What all this means is that the way we develop devices is going to have to change to keep up. We can already see this evolution in our most sophisticated customers, from Bose and Panasonic to Latch and Lyft.

The most sophisticated IoT teams are building and developing hardware like software companies, not like traditional hardware companies.

Frankly, we think this transition is a little overdue. The idea that firmware can be a one-and-done exercise is finished (or it should be). The idea that firmware isn’t going to break must now also end. Even the best development teams in the world cannot build software to run devices this complex and not build in at least a few bugs. If it happens to NASA, it can happen to you.

And so the question is: how can you be prepared?

The tools you deserve

Firmware and embedded engineering teams deserve to have all the great tools that cloud software teams have. You are building things just as complex, if not more so, and these things must work reliably in the real world while dealing with infinitely more variables.

Building in sophisticated observability tools early in the development cycle can help shape processes that seamlessly transition once products are deployed. And engineering teams shouldn’t have to build these systems themselves! IoT projects are hard enough without having to construct the infrastructure all around them.

In our Device Vitals keynote presentation, we discussed a few data points from a survey we are working on in collaboration with VDC Research (releasing soon) that demonstrates the size of the prize here—and the risk. Companies are pouring vast resources into developing products that they expect to work for years after deployment. As they repeat the cycle and continue to build more and more increasingly sophisticated connected products, many are building a maintenance time bomb.

Without an efficient way to monitor and fix these IoT devices in the field, companies are putting the millions of dollars and years of resources they've invested in product development at risk.

It's the age-old "build vs buy" debate

You can’t keep rebuilding this infrastructure for every project, and if you want to try and update your existing infrastructure to cope, then that’s a whole resource-intensive problem in itself.

With the addition of Device Vitals, embedded and IoT development teams can integrate Memfault into their existing project—at any stage of development—and instantly leap forward in the sophistication and efficiency of their process. You can:

  • Catch issues as they happen without any additional effort
  • Be fully equipped with the debugging information you need to solve the problem
  • Monitor the quality and performance of your entire fleet, built-in

Combine this with OTA distribution and management capabilities and you can go from fault found to shipping a fix very fast. And you can do it in one system, without having to worry about how to collect the data or distribute the updates. It’s done for you. You can focus on making good decisions and building great products.

The future of Memfault

So what is next on our product roadmap?

If you watched our Device Vitals webinar, you heard François talking about the work we did last year under two broad themes: more support for more platforms, and more insights, more easily. We’ll continue to build on these and add another: more value, more quickly.

Let's take a closer look at each of these three themes.

1: More support for more platforms

There are a whole load of chipsets, operating systems, connectivity protocols, and technologies out there. We want to support as many of them as practical, as comprehensively as possible. This means making sure the initial out-of-the-box integration experience is as good as possible. It also means adding more depth and sophistication to the level of configuration and control you get from the SDK when integrating. 

We already have really strong support for Arm-based MCU devices either on bare metal or running all popular RTOS’s, and for Android and Linux devices. However, there is always more to do.

It’s our job to be ahead of the game and make sure that when you are thinking about the architecture for your next generation of products, you can be confident that Memfault will fit into your plan. 

2: More insights, more easily

Memfault collects a lot of really valuable data from your devices. It’s what we are the best at. We get the right data from your devices, in the right way, so that you get insights without sacrifices. Deriving these insights requires a pretty high degree of sophistication in terms of data processing, visualizations, and manipulation. Flexibility is also a top concern, given the vast array of use cases that we serve.

This is why we have been putting so much focus into improving our dashboarding experience by consolidating and adding functionality. It's about giving you more flexibility to build what you need, combined with more tools to visualize that data in a way that puts strategic insights at your fingertips. 

Charts, cards, and customizable dashboards are one part. But the next place we intend to intensify our focus is in helping you make correlations between different data sets so you can cut your data in different ways. One example is our new issue-attribute correlation feature. This unlocks powerful new possibilities for using device-level information to correlate, segment, and filter data. 

3: More value, more quickly

Embedded engineering teams are as resource-constrained as the devices they are working with. We want to ensure you can quickly and efficiently bring Memfault into your project at any stage and that get value as fast as possible.

With Device Vitals, you can get actionable fleet-wide monitoring data without any additional work. We intend to continue improving this out-of-the-box experience to further reduce the planning burden on teams. 

Stay connected

And with that, Memfault’s first (but definitely not last!) Launch Week comes to an end. We hope you are as excited as we are about the features we have released. 

If you are going to Embedded World, please drop by our booth to say hello. Even better, book a demo to see Device Vitals and a whole lot more. We will also be running a pretty exciting experiment: get Memfault running on your Android device on the booth in under 15 minutes (more value, more quickly). Come try it out! 

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