The future of Printed Electronics (in a short tetralogy!) or The Internet of Things (IoT) and how the proliferation of low cost, low profile microelectronics is coming to an item near you….part 4.
April 6, 2015
Let’s finish our brief journey around the promise of printed electronics by spending some time in the fertile grounds of The Internet of Things (IoT)! Many see it as the third big wave of the information age and are betting accordingly: Earlier this week for example IBM announced it would spend $3billion over the next 4 years to create the cloud architecture for IoT: IBM Connect. The IoT lies at the frontier of a move from the Information Age to the Intelligence Age in which autonomous communication between things stimulates informed action. Early on a key ‘Thing’ in the dialogue will be a mobile device in the hands of a decision-maker but later deployments imagine no need for people as ‘Things’ become enabled to make their own decisions! Today we’re already seeing the rapid emergence of wearable medical sensors gathering real-time data such as glucose level, ECG, blood oxygen content, blood pressure, sweat constituents and activity level. The data moves from elegant and non-obtrusive devices in contact with the wearer to their mobile device typically via bluetooth and then from there often to a caregiver for analysis and action. Some great early examples range from 9Solutions’ real time tracking systems; 9solutions , to Avery Dennison’s Metria product for monitoring basic physiological conditions to Evena’s Eyes-On Medical glasses for precise IV access; Evana. This is just the beginning for wireless health monitoring and it’s easy to imagine a near future where real-time and remote monitoring of people will allow for early detection and treatment of diseases. And with this will come massive reductions in the cost of delivery of healthcare as issues are spotted and dealt with early on before they become chronic and resource-sapping. But the IoT is about everyThing…not just people. Smart Fridges (producing menus from discussions with its contents), Smart Homes (regulating energy, safety and comfort) and Smart Cars (which work with all their smart brethren to optimize speeds on the busy highways and eliminates jams) are just a few examples of how IoT will make our lives better.
The IoT is coming and it will touch every product and every market…..are you ready? Let FlexR&D help you figure out the possibilities for your business and be ready to ride the IoT
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