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.