The 1st "Shaping the Future of MEMS and Sensors" Summit attracted more than 300 engineers and, in addition to Janusz' presentation, attendees heard from experts across the industry. It is clear that the sensor revolution is just beginning!
It's great to see this groundswell of support for the MEMS industry. MEMS Industry Group is hosting another MEMS-focused event in November: MEMS Executive Congress US 2013 -- November 7-8 in Napa. Speakers will include GLOBALFOUNDRIES, ARM, Samsung Electronics, Cisco, Jawbone, Qualcomm Life, Qualcomm MEMS Technologies, Intel Capital and more.
Of course, MEMS' oldest success story is automotive, since it is the only technology fast enough to trigger an airbag. Also every ink jet printer uses MEMS inside the its cartridges to dipense the ink--its the razor blade thrown away after use--which to this day is still a bigger market than consumer. However, as consumer electronics proliferate--with nearly everybody on the planet wielding a smartphone with multiple MEMS chips inside--the pace is quicking still. Healthcare and wellness, of course, is the new frontier, but motion-sensing remote controls is also a big deal--especially if a new Apple TV is releases (as rumored) using MEMS motion sensors, which could prompt a new round of lookalikes as did the iPhone and iPad before it.
Collin, the news of MEMS application in healthcare sector has been there for few years without much growth. Why is there no or little progress? Also, which companies are making progress in healthcare and medical equipments sector.
The progress so far, at least in terms of volume, has been for wellness devices such as Nike Fuel, FitBit and the like. FDA approval is an obstacle to healthcare, but a handful have surmounted that hurtle, such as Preventice and its BodyGuardian Remote Monitoring System which "sends the hospital home with the patient".
I wish someone would start putting MEMS devices in hand held power tools to reduce or stop dangerous kickbacks when the blade or bit unexpectedly sticks in the workpiece. They are fast enough that they could virtually instantly reduce or disconnect the power to the motor hundreds or thousands of milliseconds before the operator can take his finger off of the trigger.
@R_Colin_Johnson: In point of fact, the Black and Decker screw driver houses an Invense gyroscope which senses the direction your wrist flicks and switches the screwdriver clockwise or counterclockwise as appropriate.
I think that we've only scratched the surface of applications for sensors in general and MEMS sensors in particular -- but I also think that machine speach and machine vision will come into play, like being able to simply say "Screw Clockwise" and have done with it.
Max - re: 'but I also think that machine speech and machine vision will come into play, like being able to simply say "Screw Clockwise" and have done with it.'
I'm still skeptical of voice recognition. I know we talk on the phone and talk to other humans, but with text messaging being so common, I think people may actually be moving away from speech as a preferred method of communications.
Talking to an inanimate object just doesn't sit well with me. It's worse than talking to an actual human in my opinion.
@Duane: I'm still skeptical of voice recognition. I know we talk on the phone and talk to other humans, but with text messaging being so common, I think people may actually be moving away from speech as a preferred method of communications.
Would you like to use your smartphone to text a message to your alarm clock for a 6:00am wake-up ... or would you rather walk into the bedroom and simply say "clock, wake me up at six o'clock tomorrow morning"?
Max - "Would you like to use your smartphone to text a message to your alarm clock for a 6:00am wake-up ... or would you rather walk into the bedroom and simply say "clock, wake me up at six o'clock tomorrow morning"?"
Hmmm. Tough question...
Really though, I guess voice recognitionis okay in appropriate situations. I can acknowledge that it can be useful for many people in many situations, but I'm still kind of a Luddite on this one.
For me, the alarm clock fits into a different situation. I have to get up earlier on Monday's for a meeting. If I had an alarm that could take a different setting per day, I'd be fine. But, as it is I have to remember, some time on Sunday, to set my alarm early. I'm usually some place else, so when the thought pops into my head, I probably would like to be able to send a text to my clock before I forget again.
On the other hand, my phone is my alarm and it's always with me so my argument is invalid.
@Duane I'm not sure about telling my alarm clock what time to wake me up (come to think of it i tell my husband that!) but I could definitely be into shouting at it to turn itself off, rather than fumbling around for the off button.
@Duane: For me, the alarm clock fits into a different situation. I have to get up earlier on Monday's for a meeting. If I had an alarm that could take a different setting per day, I'd be fine.
I'm thinking of an alarm that you coudl say "Clock, wake me up at 6:00am on Monday mornings and 7:00am the rest of the week, but don't wake me on Saturday's or Sundays" and your waife could say "Clock, wake me up at 8:30 on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday." And it would know you were two differemnt people who wanted different times. And if you thought of something liek "I have to catch a plane tomorrow morning" you coudl call your clock on your smartphone or you coudl email it saying "wake me at 5:00am tomorrow morning and cancel my alarms for the rest of this week"....
Max - Or, even better, an alarm that talks to my calendar. The alarm could see the flight and subtract an estimated get ready and travel time. Then my alarm would ask me: "Would you like to wake up at 5:00am." I'd only need to reply with "sure" or "a half hour earlier."
Thanks for the comment. I thought about doing it myself but I really don't have any interest in starting a power tool company. Perhaps some manufacturer will take up the idea and give me some sort of recognition like a generous idea submission fee. Not likely but I can hope.
@lakehermit: Perhaps some manufacturer will take up the idea and give me some sort of recognition like a generous idea submission fee. Not likely but I can hope.
Hope springs eternal... :-)
Now, this isn't MEMS-related, but it's still impressive. I was out at the Tech Shop in San Jose at Design West earlier this year. They have a monster circular saw (like a 2-foot diameter blade). If human flesh touches the blade while the saw running, thsi is detected and an explosive bold is fired through the blad halting it in a fraction of a second such that the owner's finger (or whaterer part of their anatonomy) is not even scratched .... pretty amazing!!!
I think that would be a SawStop brand saw. It's a very interesting story. They're only a couple of miles from where I live so their lore has been around for a number of years here. My understanding is that they first tried to license the technology to other saw manufacturers. For whatever reason; liability fears, fear that customers wouldn't pay for safety, or whatever, the big saw companies wouldn't buy it, so SawStop started building their own table saws.
They're confident enough in their product that they have a "report a finger save" form on their website.
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