I do like the move that the industry is making toward local intelligence. It helps a lot in troubleshooting issues and keeps a lot of the spaghetti wiring to a minimum. In addition, it allows status feedback to the operators so that they can tell immediately what the problem is rather than having the maintenance engineer hook up a bunch of diagnostic equipment.
Not only is localized intelligence making life easier for problem solving and debugging, but the costs are becoming lower and lower which only helps drive the localized solution. Becoming more affordable will allow more solutions, and better designs, to occur with a minimal amount of fuss by engineers.
There is currently much discussion around the term "platform," which may be preceded by the adjectives "mobile," "wearable," "medical," "healthcare," etc. However, regardless of the platform being discussed, they usually have one key aspect in common: They tend to be wireless. So, why is this one aspect so fairly universal? The answer is convenience.
Everyone has a MEMS story. For most of us it’s probably the airbag that saved our lives or the life of a loved one. Perhaps it’s the tire pressure sensor that alerted us about deflation before we were stranded alone on a dark muddy road.
Bioimimicry is not merely a helpful design tool -- it also encourages designers to think not only about how to solve design problems by imitating nature, but how to make the products, materials, and systems they design more ecologically sound and nature-friendly.
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