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30 Jun 2014 | United Kingdom/Worldwide
Wearable technology and sensors changing the world
The conference Samsung Future Technology Needs, London 16/6/14 consisted of about 50 people. Primarily, it served Samsung's need to engage with small companies with technology it seeks. After IDTechEx gave the keynote on Wearable Electronics, NXP gave a commercial on their Coolflux DSP, Nupe gave an excellent and amusing take on managing product development and support, Applied Diagnostics described a very good non-invasive blood glucose tester for diabetics, much less intrusive - shine it in your eye - than the planned Google contact lens system giving warnings in real time. Samsung presented then several of the small companies had two minute slots. Samsung also revealed technologies it wishes to license out.
The afternoon consisted of structured networking sessions. The bulk of what the small companies and Samsung discussed over the day was directed at the overlapping subjects Wearable Electronics, the Internet of Things and the Internet of People. The Samsung and other content strongly supported the view that, "Hardware is the New Software". If this day is indicative, more often than not, the new hardware is sensors of incredible variety and sophistication. Indeed, the event coincided with news of the Cornell University BodyBeat which is a neck-mounted device listening to vibrations in your skin and bone, revealing a wide range of vital signs and abnormal conditions and presenting interpreted results on your mobile phone. Also announced that week, a prototype fluid pressure sensor developed by engineers at the University of Washington is placed permanently in a person's eye to track changes in eye pressure and more effectively manage glaucoma.
There were several table top exhibitors including one with stretchable electronics in the form of flexible circuit boards connected by integrally made 2D serpentine connects. It has an order "from a big pharma" and military interest but considers the market for stretchable electronics to be tiny as yet with "only four or so companies actually producing".
Those interested in these topics should attend the two-day Printed Electronics USA in Santa Clara California with its co-located events Wearable Technology Live, Internet of Things Applications, Graphene Live, Energy Harvesting and Storage and 3D Printing Live. It has nine parallel conferences as well as masterclasses on the days before and after and about 2500 delegates and about 250 exhibitors are expected.
Top image of BodyBeat: Cornell University
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