What would happen if MEMS suddenly disappeared? Would we notice?
Will I need to
program reminders in my smartphone’s calendar to tell me that I should
take my pill?! I am feeling just one step away from using a paper
pocket-calendar like my 75-year-old mother does, and it is freaking me
out (no offense, Mom).
Maybe I can find some solace in my
brand-new luxury SUV. A smooth ride with some great music might be the
ticket. As I cruise the twists and turns of rush hour, I probably should
not think about how much less responsive and accurate my airbag crash
sensors are without MEMS accelerometers. Or that my side-impact airbags
do not even exist without MEMS. That weather report I was looking for
earlier would have alerted me to the sleet and snow that’s now on the
Hope I don’t need those MEMS-based stability control
system to get me out of a hydroplane or skid. As I become more fraught
with worry, I check my dashboard to view my tire pressure monitor. What a
surprise. The MEMS pressure sensors in my tire pressure monitoring
system aren’t functioning. Do I have 30 psi or do I have 3?
call my husband for some positive reinforcement. I also need him to pick
up a roast chicken, but that’s another story, for another blog. I try
to use the speaker on my iPhone but the MEMS microphones are kaput so I
probably sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher to him. There is no point in
attempting an actual conversation. I feel so alone with all my MEMS
helping me through my day.
I guess I will stop at my favorite
coffee shop for a latte. Unfortunately, it’s located on a really steep
hill, and without my low-g MEMS accelerometer for my parking brake, I am
not sure I totally trust my car’s MEMS-based anti-rollover system. And
even if I do go get that coffee, without those same low-g sensors for
antitheft, I might not know if my car is being stolen. Maybe the coffee
is not worth it after all.
Only two hours into my day and I am
already grateful to the MEMS devices quietly at work in all aspects of
my life. Thank you, MEMS! I hereby declare it the first annual MEMS
Appreciation Day (instituted by MEMS Industry Group, of course). Don’t
doubt I will do it. The t-shirts and buttons are already on order.
Karen Lightman is managing director of the MEMS Industry Group.
Thank you gentlemen for the very engaging conversation on this whimsical take on a "day without MEMS" - I know I could survive without MEMS. Though I'd rather not drive a car with my kids in it (especially) without airbags - that's a non-starter. I'd walk to walk that day!!
But the reality is, MEMS is here and it's everywhere; and in the future engineers like you guys will integrate it and find it in more and more places...
take care and thanks again for the comments!
I too like MEMS. I expect many innovations in future MEMS chips and MEMS based applications.
Of course we can live without any technology. But it will simply make engineers and engineering to disappear from this world.
Skip the following if you are not an engineer:
Engineering is human nature. Humans will think into the problem and come up with a solution. We ignorantly think that we have developed a perfect solution. There is nothing like perfection in this world. And infact, this realization is what we should call as perfection.
If the world ever becomes perfect, then there will be no evolution. So, my little definition of an Engineer:
A perfect engineer is one who creates an imperfect product.
This article is full of use cases of MEMS sensors. As docdivakar mentioned, just go back and be normal. If you depend on electronics to sleep, you are not doing proper exercise required. Go, hit the gym.
Karen, the answer is quite simple: just go back to what you were using/doing to get things done before MEMS came along! Millions of people around the world still do, without MEMS. Though I work in MEMS design & simulation, I for one, abhor the idea of being too dependent on technology -just don't let it control the your life!
Before GPS came along, people stopped and asked for directions! Now a days, my daughters text each other sitting 10ft apart rather than using their biological sound system and just talk to each other!
As far as your husband is concerned (& on behalf of all males!), just leave him alone to his beer, pizza and football games! Have mercy... don't blog about him... I am sure he will be thankful! :-))