Software and hardware integration is fast becoming the stage where the world’s most advanced technology innovation is playing out. We’re seeing all types of hardware being enriched with software – to become smarter and able to carry out a much wider range of functions. And as the development processes are getting faster and less expensive, this is a trend that is set to continue.

The benefits of integrating software and hardware

Most businesses want to achieve innovation and cost-efficiency, which is something that software and hardware integration can support in a powerful way. Let’s take a look at how!

  • Drive innovation
    Innovation should of course sit at the heart of any progressive business. But the process of innovation becomes a lot easier with the help of high-quality hardware and devices as well as specialised software. The smarter the technology, the more a business can achieve and the better it can meet the needs of its customers. Here at One Beyond, we recently used hardware integration to help trigger an innovative solution for the food industry by developing a desktop application for monitoring food wastage in restaurants.
    By gathering data from electronic weighing scales and a USB camera, the solution transfers information to a cloud-based analytics system and produces a comprehensive report on a lightweight Windows Tablet. This helps the restaurant stay in control of its waste and manage its resources better.
  • Automate processes
    When robots were first introduced to the manufacturing industry in 1962, the aim was not to necessarily replace humans, but to automate elements of the process to make the business more productive. Ever since, we have continued to explore ways of making manual labour faster, easier, and more consistent. In the modern business landscape, this is done increasingly with the help of smart technology.We created one such automation process for health and food compliance service provider Cocoms. Using a third-party thermometer and a USB connection, we built a web-based temperature tracking system that automatically monitors and reports on thermometer data – without the need for any manual intervention. This ensures accurate readings that are perfectly regular and consistent over time.
  • Create cost-efficiency
    Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, hardware integration can help improve the bottom line in very tangible ways. Using custom software on new or existing hardware, a business can improve the quality and speed of output for years to come through one single investment.One great example of cost-efficiency through hardware integration is the project we completed for Leisure Trust activeNewham. We were able to deliver a full self-service experience for the trust’s leisure centre users, by providing perfectly tailored software running on automated check-in kiosks. As a result, the reception areas could be largely unmanned – saving tremendous amounts of money over time.

Integration is not everything

While software and hardware integration is the central piece of the puzzle, there is one element that is just as important as the underlying integrations with various pieces of hardware – and that is user-friendliness.

Whatever the functionality of the system, it is critical that it has a fully intuitive and user-friendly interface. This is why it is important to work with a partner who can not only pair hardware and software into smart integrated systems, but who also has a solid understanding of user behaviour.

Find your solution

Hardware-integrated solutions come in all shapes and sizes. Regardless of your industry, there will be plenty of ways in which your business can use integrated devices and equipment to record, transmit, manage, track or communicate data.

Where does it makes sense for your business to add specialised hardware and software solutions? Take a look at some of our case studies on Software and Hardware Integration to get some inspiration!