Freescale Semiconductor Inc.'s 2012 Freescale Technology Forum featured, among other things, the first extended comments from the company's new CEO, Gregg Lowe, dozens of technology tutorials, and a sneak peek at the company's strategy across all of the various markets that it serves.
But the highlight of the event was arguably the Tech Lab, which showcased Freescale's technology in use in real-world applications.
This year's Tech Lab featured more than 200 exhibits, including concept cars, smart connected devices, kinetic energy harvesters, skateboards with embedded LEDs, and even a blimp.
Click on the photo below to see a few snapshots from the show.
Freescale has been trotting out its concept car, which has gone by the nickname "Mad Mac" for years. The car, which has evolved considerably over time, features plenty of Freescale's technology.
When you have finished viewing the slideshow, check out the videos highlighting Mad Mac and the smart fridge, below.
Nice look at the wide array of applications possible with the Freescale technology. I think the iPhone-driven home monitoring system is something that would have huge utility, although, I draw the line at all the electronics stuff added to the fridge.
I'm an avid cook and grocery shopper, but I see no reason to keep notes or recipes on the fridge. I'm assuming it would canvass my fridge to see what ingredients I was missing for a particular recipe and pop the shopping list to my phone. Sounds good, but I still prefer the good old-fashioned paper shopping list, even though I admit I lose it more often than not before I get into the store!
Okay - So I can check my home teperature from anywhere in the world with my phone, or the condition of my fridge from anywhere with my phone...
Does this add any real utility or value other than my fridge and thermostat now cost more? Or is it just the OOOOH! Shiny factor?
And we already hear about "distracted driving" as we add more devices to the car to distact us from the essential job of keeping the car and its occupants safe. Do our cars need more touch panels, and how will they keep us between the lines and out of the trunk of the car ahead of us?
I know a cell pphone now does everything (and in some cases makes a lousy phone...) but does that mean every simple device now must be made cmplex in order to justify its existence? Or is it the way of the future to add functions to a device until it is no longer able to do its intended function, and thus someday in the not to distant future someone will be "inventing" the fridge without internet access and teh phone that can actually excel at making phone calls?
Is kind of like the rage about 20 years ago to add voice to every device. Like we all wanted to hear an electronic device remind (NAG) us to turn off the lights, slow down cause we we driving to close or whatever possible use one could imagine to inform us about whatever.
I realize that sometimes "free-wheeling" provides solutions to problems unstated at the time. This may be called serendipity and wonderful when it happens. I am having difficulty in seeing what problems are addressed with the devices given as examples. The skateboard idea is really way out. I know I'm old school but, what are we really trying to accomplish? Is the world a better place for the effort? How has humanity been advanced and suffering alleviated by virtue of the technology? Just a thought.
I wish I had gone. I have been working with many of the Freescale devices mentioned. They are really powerful and well supported. I like some of the new applications. I never thought that a fridge could be so useful!
Freescale Technology Forum is definitely worthwhile, naperlou. The Tech Lab is a great place to stir up a few ideas. As one of the commenters stated accurately below, the ideas aren't always practical (the robotic air hockey table of a few years back come to mind here), but it's a great place to get the creative juices flowing.
One of the biggest walls in embedded software development is the integration of low-level drivers with higher-level middleware and application code, but silicon vendors are stepping up to bring it down.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.