As the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes more advanced, more Fortune 500 companies are already exploring innovative ways to enhance customer experience, create new revenue streams, and grow their brands by developing smart technology solutions to work in their unique environments and for their customers.


In fact, many companies in verticals such as hospitality, consulting, banking, shared workspace, big box retailers, home entertainment companies, and commercial and residential developers — where they control the environment  — are already developing their own smart products versus buying off the shelf, to create smarter eco-systems.

Voice activation, in the past, was a product of sci-fi imagination; today a person’s voice is like magic to make machines work. As voice-activated product design advances and improves, consumers will come to understand the ease and convenience of these devices. When that happens, it means they are more apt to use them. This all bodes very well for companies that make the investment in voice-activated products.

Companies aren’t lacking when it comes to good ideas and yet many products never get to the consumer. Since the purpose of product development is to generate a positive return on investment, not getting to market seems like failure. It can be a learning tool. When you understand what goes wrong and why, changes can be made to prevent similar problems next time. Since I started Surfaceink over 20 years, we have successfully helped deliver more than $200B in products to market. Here is what we’ve learned in the process:


by Nathan Donato-WeinsteinSJECONOMY.COM


Perched in a display case inside the downtown San José office of Surfaceink is a hit parade of consumer electronics: Palm devices, Apple iPhones, Amazon Kindles, and  enough routers, printers – even a few toys – to stock a Fry’s megastore.


Eric Bauswell

Founder and CEO

Eric began his career designing tractor mowers for Textron before landing in Silicon Valley where he was motivated by the challenge of fast-paced and industry leading design at Apple. As surfaceink grew, Eric expanded surfaceink to develop products for Palm, Flextronics, and Dell to name a few. He continues to be motivated by the creative challenges from Fortune 100 companies and emerging high-tech startups.


Chris Whittall

Director of Industrial Design

Chris works to ensure that client goals are realized through attractive and innovative design solutions. With over 20 years of experience as an industrial designer, Chris enjoys transforming complex technical challenges into beautiful and intuitive product solutions that deliver solid business results. Before joining surfaceink, Chris worked at Speck Design, Whipsaw, HP, Montgomery Pfeifer and GVO. Chris holds 45 U.S. design patents, and his work has been recognized by IDEA, Red Dot, Spark, IF, Chicago Athenaeum and Popular Mechanics.


Geoff Chatterton

Vice President of Software Engineering

Geoff is surfaceink’s VP of Software, and he loves seeing his award-winning products, including an Emmy and three times Best of CES, in the hands of millions of people around the world. With a focus on creating cutting-edge consumer experiences, his career has spanned 20 years across a mix of successful startups and top tier established companies including Apple, Dell, and PayPal. A recognized industry innovator, Geoff earned his undergraduate degree from MIT and has over 80 patents issued or pending.