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MEMS will set the world on fire

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1/1/2012 02:19 AM EST

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karenlightman
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re: MEMS will set the world on fire
karenlightman   1/4/2012 2:40:31 PM
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Yup - exactly - I envision a world where MEMS is frickin' everywhere! the applications are so numerous in so many markets - and now the price points are such that they can become superfluous - so thanks for your comment!

karenlightman
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re: MEMS will set the world on fire
karenlightman   1/4/2012 2:42:05 PM
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Thanks for your comment and yes, you are so right. I especially appreciate your inclusion of the word "investment" in your comment - as that is the critical part - we need the design and software community to INVEST in MEMS and then we'll truly see an explosion in MEMS.

karenlightman
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re: MEMS will set the world on fire
karenlightman   1/4/2012 2:44:31 PM
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hello and thanks for your comment. I actually think one of the most "important" applications of MEMS is how it will improve Quality of Life - as the technology of MEMS will enable folks to manage their own healthcare, maintain their dignity and improve their well being. A great example of this is the company Proteus Biomedical - that has developed a way to monitor a patient's medicine (as one of the leading causes of poor health is that patients don't keep up on their meds) - you should check it out. thanks so much for your comment!

karenlightman
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re: MEMS will set the world on fire
karenlightman   1/4/2012 2:46:36 PM
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hi Thanks for your comment, though I don't agree with it completely. I think we are on the cusp of MEMS cracking that magic - but it's not going to be one single "killer app" - instead it will be many cracks, opening up many products - MEMS is an enabling technology and as someone earlier commented, it's about how MEMS is evolving.... thanks again for the comment!

docdivakar
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re: MEMS will set the world on fire
docdivakar   1/4/2012 5:29:23 PM
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@karenlightman & @pixies: there are many healthcare areas where MEMS are already making impact and you can expect this to increase several fold. In preventive care alone where consumers can monitor themselves (like heart rate, blood pressure & glucose levels, etc.) using their handhelds & mobiles, the opportunties are huge, enabled my MEMS of course! In sports medicine and kinesiology, applications of MEMS accelerometers and gyro's are leading to many new discoveries. Nano-robots scouring your artery are still years away from becoming practical! FDA approval tends to be too slow and the couterpart regulations & approvals are slightly better outside the US. My previous article on automobile MEMS is here (from Semicon West where I also met Karen!): http://www.eetimes.com/electronics-news/4217869/Older-packaging-technology-breathes-new-life-into-automobile-MEMS-sensors MP Divakar

phoenixdave
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re: MEMS will set the world on fire
phoenixdave   1/4/2012 5:39:33 PM
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Examples of potential real-world applications can be found by doing a search for "MEMS" in Google Patents. At this point, 28,400 patents come up that include the term, and a quick check of some of the titles show the broad diversity of applications, such as antennas, switches, biosensors, imaging devices, glaucoma implants, etc.

Bob Lacovara
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re: MEMS will set the world on fire
Bob Lacovara   1/4/2012 6:24:08 PM
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Neo1's observation is quite right: MEMS has been hyped for 20+ years, and has slowly found a niche. In this regard, it is much like the laser. Touted as slicing, dicing, and all around wonder device, it just didn't have all of the applications all at once that were claimed for it. As a weapon (tout, tout) your best bet in killing someone was to hit them repeatedly with the thing, or have them touch the power supply; displays? too expensive... just a trick done with mirrors. Yet little by little, lasers (and solid state lasers) found and expanded their own niche. Don't mistake my slant: MEMS devices are pretty neat: I used to demonstrate the development of gyros by showing off a bunch of them, starting with a basketball-sized unit and finally one the size of a grape. In my hand, for the finale, I had palmed a MEMS gyro... made for a good show. Will MEMS devices explode this year? Maybe, maybe not. But it will be interesting to see...

R0ckstar
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re: MEMS will set the world on fire
R0ckstar   1/5/2012 1:55:22 PM
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I agree with the observation of the parallels with laser development. On the one hand, i agree that mems wil be fricken everywhere, but on the other hand, i also think its taking fricken forever. The apps are clearly there. a viable butane battery alone would be a smash hit, let alone the countless other potential opportunities. The creation of this brave new mems world is obviously difficult, otherwise it would be here already, but it's coming none the less.

Michael.Markowitz
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re: MEMS will set the world on fire
Michael.Markowitz   1/5/2012 9:57:06 PM
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Beyond the examples Karen and MP Divakar point out where MEMS can contribute to better quality of life and healthcare are micro-pumps that can continuously inject medicine and monitor (http://bit.ly/A23NSJ); sensors better able to detech glaucoma (http://bit.ly/hnfwRl); and mini labs on chips useful for diagnosis and detection (http://bit.ly/xgMsKM). The number of applications is rich!

karenlightman
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re: MEMS will set the world on fire
karenlightman   1/6/2012 6:40:49 PM
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thanks @Divakar and @Markowitz for the added examples - it truly is endless where MEMS is and can be applied to help improve the world -- Quality of Life/medical/bio, smart buildings, smart cities, smart cars...and oh yes smart mobile devices that we can't live without!

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