Wearables: Look good or fail

Scott N. Miller, CEO / Co-Founder, Dragon Innovation 

Scott has been fascinated with hardware since he was old enough to hold a screwdriver.  Over the course of his career, he’s worked on high efficiency robotic tunafish, life-size robotic dinosaurs for Disney Imagineering, and robotic baby dolls with Hasbro.

At iRobot, Scott was responsible for leading the Roomba technical team to scale the functional prototype through all of the steps in the journey to high volume production.  Scott lived in China for four years as the VP of Asia Pacific, setting up teams in the Pearl River Delta and India and leading the production of 3 million Roomba units.

Leaving iRobot after 10 great years, Scott saw the deadly gap that many Entrepreneurs were facing in going from a functional prototype to high volume production.  At Dragon Innovation, Scott has worked with over 100 companies to help them scale by providing them with his expertise in all sectors of the business: DFMA, Sourcing, Costing, RFQ, Manufacturing Service Agreement, Quality, Handover, Pre-Production, Production and Sustaining Engineering.  Scott loves new challenges and the opportunity to work with world class teams.

Scott is an avid sailor and skippers a J/80.  He has sailed from Portugal to Tahiti.  Scott received his Bachelors from Dartmouth and Masters from MIT.  Scott is also and Adjunct Professor at Olin College and taught Machine Design and Design for Manufacture and Assembly.

Dragon Innovation: 

Dragon Innovation works with entrepreneurs to launch hardware products and scale companies. Founded by a team of hardware experts, Dragon provides a clear path from prototype through production with unmatched manufacturing expertise and trusted connections. Dragon's client roster includes Coin, MakerBot, LIFX, Scout, Romotive, Sifteo, Orbotix, FormLabs and over 100 additional companies paving the road for how new technology gets made.

Here's some additional more "dragon-centric" news: 

We've been quietly building a suite of tools that codifies our team's collective hundreds of years of experience manufacturing millions of electronics for the most innovative and exciting start ups. Our goal is to make it fast, safe, and simple to go from prototype to production, unlocking scale manufacturing for a new generation of hardware entrepreneurs.

Smithers Apex: Please provide a few words on the state of the industry as you see it (or as it pertains to your presentation/session).

[Scott]  The integration of fashion and tech is inevitable.  We consider designing and building wearables as the olympics of hardware because:

·  Need to seamlessly integrate fashion and technology.  If it doesn't look good, it's a fail.

·  Tight "packaging" constraints - how do you fit the necessary components into very limited volume.

·  Pushing the edge of technology in low power, small size, flexible materials, waterproof, life proof, skin friendly, etc.

The companies who figure this out will create an amazing user experience.

Smithers Apex: Who do you feel would benefit most in this particular discussion?

[Scott]  Hardware companies who have built a working prototype and need to either get ready for crowdfunding, or are funded and need to select a factory and scale up production.

Smithers Apex: What concerns you most- whether it be an industry dynamic you need to overcome or a major opportunity you think you can capitalize on?

[Scott]  I am really excited about the combination of previously disparate supply chains and industries.  Gesture Logic is a great example - combining (smart) fabric with electronics to gain deep insights into sports performance that were not possible just a few years ago.