Emerging Uses and Apps for Sensors
May 24, 2012, MEMS Business Forum, Santa Clara, CA—Sandhiprakash Bhide senior strategist and futurist from Intel described his view of the near future as a world where computers are aware of all of you, environment, emotions, health, and many more aspects. An increasing diversity of sensors and actuators will change the way computers and humans interact.
These changes will take place over time as our personal devices become more aware of our surroundings and access the ubiquitous connectivity in the cloud for many purposes. This context-aware computing will take the sensor data and use the data to become your 24/7 personal assistant to help to mange your life and lifestyle.
The inter-device communications will create notifications as the sensors and tracking. apps monitor your moods, function, and schedules. Health sensors will monitor and manage your well-being and predict any potential health issues. Although some of theses functions already exist, they will be in the mainstream and will become user friendly and social.
Large-scale tracking and monitoring will allow disease researchers to observe the spread of infections in real time. A traveler coming from Asia could be identified as a carrier of a tropical disease in the middle of the US. The tracking can scale up to planet size, so we can check on global events that will affect you, such as a volcanic eruption that cause a change in air traffic.
The Internet of Things will merge the compute systems blurring the distinction of cloud and edge as the sensors' data crosses the boundaries. The instrumentation of everything will require new architectures that place more evaluation and analysis of the sensor outputs at the edge to minimize the transport and storage of the vast majority of data.
As the personal devices search for optimal resources, the security issues of share or not sharing information will arise. The most likely adoption mode will be to use the capabilities first and worry about privacy and security later. Changes in morals and ethics will occur much slowly than the technology and the legislation will follow those changes.
The spectrum of context awareness will require lots of sensor and actuators. The systems will need secure and robust communications to provide the various services. Some of the unanswered issues include storage, processing needs and availability, new architectures, energy use, and reliability. The sensor diversity will include more than motion and the sensors will need fusion software to convert the data into information. On top of all this, is the need for security, privacy, and identity services.