MEMS does not have to kill off another sector to succeed, it can create its own niche. MEMS devices provide a way to 'dongle' all sorts of investment in software applications (ie protected income from software with a little hardware on the side) , and special sensors can provide new markets from nowhere.
I think the most exciting aspect of MEMS is its lack of product boundaries. It has potential applications in almost any field. The utilization of MEMS technologies in biomedical applications can revolutionize the delivery of medicines and treatment of diseases. For instance, the ability to provide chemotherapy drugs and radiation treatments to specific cells of a tumor, eliminating the current whole body treatment.
I have been watching the MEMs explosion for some time now and frankly wishing that the US would JUMP ON THE BANDWAGON big time. With the proliferation into mobile devices, game devices, exercise devices, (the list goes on and on..) it would seem to me that the major educational institutions would be lining up for grant money and developing courses in both use and design of MEMs. I would love to be able to take/teach a course at the college level it this explosive field. I will have to be patient and keep on looking for the right time/place for this to happen.