What is driving the hardware boom?

Boris Wertz, the founder of Version One Ventures, has identified a number of prominent trends driving the current hardware boom. As Wertz notes, it seems as if everyone is talking about the Maker movement, with hardware startup meetups on the rise from New York to San Francisco, Stockholm to Toronto.

“The Maker Movement is [clearly] increasing the talent pool. The increased focus on hardware brought about by the maker movement is rapidly bringing a new influx of hardware developers to the market,” Wertz wrote in a recent guest column published by CNET. “With access to a bigger talent pool, startups (and established companies too) can develop products more quickly and at a lower cost. The associated lower costs and faster time to market can be a game changer.”

According to Wertz, open hardware such as Atmel-powered Arduino boards significantly increases the speed of innovation.

“The open source movement when applied to hardware accelerates innovation, enabling developers to build derivatives of the original design, such as alternate use cases and accessories,” he explained. “With open source hardware, developers and startups don’t need to seek the approval of the creator. They can just start working, without any patent or licensing hoops to jump through.”

Wertz also commented on the rapidly evolving Internet of Things (IoT) and wearable tech, both of which are being propelled by an increase in connected devices.

“The common hardware purchase model was always ‘one and done; customers bought their hardware and that was it. With today’s influx of connected devices, consumers expect more than great hardware,” said Wertz. “Connected software now defines the hardware experience. Examples include wireless wearable devices that track a person’s activities or connected home devices that encourage a greener lifestyle.”

The full text of “Five trends driving the hardware boom,” is available here on CNET.

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