Design 1st Completes a Successful 2023 Amidst Economic Uncertainty

The product design and development experts identified AI integration, battery innovation, edge AI hardware, and product redesign as key trends heading into 2024

OTTAWA, Jan. 09, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Design 1st, one of the most prolific full-service product design-engineering firms across North America, completed another successful year in 2023, closing the year with 84 unique physical products designed, 26 new customers ranging from entrepreneurs, startups, to corporate, 7 products brought to market, 3 industry awards, and 2 New Product Introduction (NPI) trips to Asia. Concurrently, the product design and development experts continued their strong history of client retention, with 70% of project revenue from existing clients.

For over 25 years, Design 1st has helped guide customers, from entrepreneur to enterprise, through all stages of the product design and development process. Design 1st balances deep expertise in new tech, usability, materials, component supply and risk assessment with global manufacturing expertise and network to provide an end-to-end service. Design 1st has designed and developed over 1,000 products for a wide range of clients that influence millions of people globally.

“These past few years have proved to be both dynamic and disruptive for the manufacturing industry,'' said Kevin Bailey, CEO, Design 1st. “Despite an unpredictable market, our team at Design 1st has persevered through and positioned our clients for success during these times. We are excited for 2024, and look forward to reaching new heights.”

Project highlights of the year include:

  • 6 innovative AI Devices across consumer, medical, sports and commercial applications containing sensors and edge AI processors for on-device processing.
  • 4 projects involving electric bikes, fintech workstations, and solar charging.
  • 4 innovative connected devices for the ‘Transport and Logistics’ industry to improve security, and safety when shipping goods.
  • 3 innovative hydroponic growing systems from unique clients across North America, hinting that the future of farming is upon us.
  • 3 Collaborative Robotics (CoBot) projects for commercial use helping human-led processes move faster, safer, and more predictable.

Trends We See

  • AI Integration - One of the top trends we witnessed in 2023 was the integration of AI thinking into all new electronic device designs and we expect this to continue into 2024. For many of our clients, we aided in integrating AI into products across various sectors like medical, agriculture, consumer goods, and industrial products.

    In healthcare, AI integration has revolutionized personalized care. Smart medical devices dynamically adapt treatments based on real-time patient data, substantially enhancing outcomes and patient experiences. Similarly, in health and wellness, AI-driven devices like wearable fitness trackers and wellness apps utilize AI for personalized biofeedback, providing tailored health insights and lifestyle adjustments. Design 1st helped bring these concepts to life with projects like DreamClear, a sleep apnea testing program, and Neurovine, an intelligent concussion recovery solution.
  • Battery Innovation - In last year’s recap, we highlighted battery technology as a trend to watch – and we were right. We saw great advancements in solid-state and lithium-sulfur batteries in 2023, signifying yet another leap in battery technology. Solid-state batteries promise higher energy density and improved safety, while lithium-sulfur batteries offer up to five times more energy storage, revolutionizing electric transportation and renewable energy. The outcome? Devices boasting longer life, extended portable usage, and safer and higher quality batteries in our products. Expect this to carry over into 2024 and beyond.

  • Edge AI Hardware - As technology becomes more intelligent, usage of edge computing has become increasingly popular, as it processes data closer to the data source, reducing latency and enabling real-time processing. We see this commonly in IoT devices, like in smart homes, and with content delivery. Specialized Edge AI Hardware, including accelerators, plays a pivotal role in on-device deep learning, catering to real-time, data-intensive tasks. The migration of AI processing from the cloud to the Edge enhances bandwidth efficiency, data privacy, and reduces latency. Various AI accelerators like TPUs and GPUs facilitate efficient, flexible, and potent Edge computing.

  • Product Redesign - In 2023, we experienced a rise in companies eyeing product redesign as a strategy to embed AI capabilities, reduce costs, leverage innovative manufacturing methods, and introduce new features. This endeavor focuses on slashing expenses, implementing efficient manufacturing processes, and enhancing product appeal by incorporating new features like enhanced connectivity and smart technology. A trend away from sole reliance on OEM products signals a shift towards developing custom solutions, offering greater control and differentiation. As the economy remains challenging, it’s possible we’ll see more familiar products with new capabilities in the coming year.

To learn more about Design 1st and past projects, please visit:

About Design 1st:
Design 1st is one of the most trusted full-service product design firms across North America, with over 25 years of expertise, 1,000 products developed, and 130 client patents assigned across a wide range of industries. As a design partner to innovative companies from Startups to Enterprises, the firm leverages core competencies in human behavior, industrial design, mechanical engineering, electronics engineering, embedded firmware, and manufacturing setup. Design 1st has helped clients transform their physical ideas into commercialized hard goods products across a variety of industries.

Media Contact:
Kent Borden-Ha
Firecracker PR for Design 1st
(888) 317-4687 ext. 708

Photos accompanying this announcement is available are:

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