Credit is due to former-Intel chairman, Andrew Grove, who, according to the Wall Street Journal, is pushing Intel Corp. to diversify itself and become a manufacturer of batteries for plug-in hybrid vehicles. Grove’s idea isn’t just smart, it’s in the best interest of the country. Many in the auto industry are currently worried that by breaking our oil dependency and moving toward electric cars, the U.S. may be exchanging one imported dependency for another. The reason: Japanese and Chinese companies appear to be positioning themselves to dominate the emerging EV battery market.
The only downside to Grove’s idea is the difficulty of the task. Scores of companies have tried and failed over the past 80 years. MIT-based battery expert Donald Sadoway has described EV battery design as “the scientific equivalent of quicksand, deceptively simple, yet enormously complex.” Still, Grove’s idea is apparently to target the plug-in hybrid market, rather than the pure EV market, which makes the task decidedly easier.
Five years ago, optical heart rate tracking seemed like an obvious successor to the popular chest straps used by many fitness buffs, but the technology has faced myriad engineering challenges on its way to market acceptance.
Design engineers need to prepare for a future in which their electronic products will use not just one or two, but possibly many user interfaces that involve touch, vision, gestures, and even eye movements.
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