In Dan Siewiorek’s vision of the future, each of us will get an ‘iPhone 20’ at birth.
Powered by a wide range of microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS, this personalized mobile device will monitor your heart rate when you exercise, help the visually impaired to grocery-shop, and remember important social clues such as people’s names, phone numbers and directions. More of a “friend for life” than a smartphone, this intelligent device will help you to navigate your environment and will sustain you on a daily basis as you age. As a professor of computer science and electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University’s Quality of Life Center, Dr. Siewiorek has unique insight into the practical applications of MEMS sensors and contextual software for mobile phones and wearable pendants. While addressing an audience of more than 180 business executives at the 6th annual MEMS Executive Congress on November 4th, Siewiorek and his fellow panelists claimed the attention of MEMS suppliers looking for new business opportunities as well as leading OEMs eager to learn more about the commercial applications of MEMS technology.
“At MEMS Executive Congress, OEMs and end users have a conversation with the MEMS industry about emerging trends and business opportunities,” said Karen Lightman, managing director of the event’s host organization, MEMS Industry Group. “During this year’s forum, market analysts shared their latest research on what’s hot and what’s not, with an eye to market growth through 2015. Industry experts in consumer electronics, quality of life/robotics, and energy dove into the short- and long-term commercial uses of MEMS. And keynote speakers from HP and Intel offered an inside look at how two top technology companies see practical applications for MEMS within their own organizations and the global IT infrastructure.”
In his opening keynote address, Rich Duncombe, strategist, Technology Development Organization, Imaging and Printing Group, HP, reflected on the business processes behind his latest disruptive technology launch: “While the creative energy behind innovation may seem like ‘magic,’ innovation at HP results from a disciplined business development process. We innovate from our core, incorporating client-focused innovation to deliver an end-to-end solution.”
HP’s latest achievement is a wireless seismic imaging system featuring one million sensor nodes based on accelerometers that are up to 1000x more sensitive than today’s consumer-centric accelerometers. Developed in collaboration with Shell, the new system uses high-resolution seismic data to locate difficult-to-find oil and gas reservoirs.
In her closing keynote address, Vida Ilderem, PhD, vice president of Intel Labs and director of the Integrated Platform Research Lab for Intel Corporation, wrapped up MEMS Executive Congress with some concluding thoughts: “The technology industry at large is realizing a greater mobility vision, one that encompasses mobile platforms and architectures, pervasive connectivity, context awareness and human-computer interaction.”
Identifying sensor-intensive applications such as mobile augmented reality devices and ‘personal energy systems’ for homes, offices and college campuses, Dr. Ilderem encouraged the audience to increase sensor intelligence and ease sensor integration to meet the requirements of these emerging context-aware systems.