Opinion Former Article

IET: ‘Smart’ Technology to be Ubiquitous in Everyday Items

CEO of ARM expects to see everything from smart mugs to smart shaving mirrors

London, 27 October 2011: As smart phones and tablet devices increasingly penetrate the UK and global markets, Warren East, Chief Executive Officer of ARM, the leading supplier of semiconductor IP, has predicted that smart technology will become so ingrained in our future lives that people will see it in a variety of everyday items. Anything from shaving mirrors you can check email in, to smart bandages that can help healthcare and be read through a tablet device.

Speaking at the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) recent Young Professionals’ Event in London, Mr East suggested that phones and tablets are just the beginning of the ‘smart’ revolution, as the technology begins to penetrate all aspects of our everyday lives over the next few years. However, he also identified a number of factors that both drive and inhibit this shift and innovation in general.

The key factors surrounding the development and proliferation of smart technology were cited by East as:
· Connectivity – This helps drive global adoption and new applications, but increases network capacity, speed and bandwidth requirements
· Context Awareness – This factor supports the development of sensors and smart software that we see in mobile devices, but requires transformational change and understanding of how people interact with technology, which create new technical and operational challenges
· Affordability – Devices and technology are becoming more affordable, creating new demand, and supply chain transformation (e.g. systems integration, new processes and ubiquity). However, network and energy costs need to be contained, as does complexity
· Efficiency and Performance – This has led to mobile devices that use multiple processors and increased power usage. However, battery technology is not improving fast enough to fuel demand, so other solutions have to be found

“Today handheld devices do a lot for many people, but the real manifestation of this smart technology will be when it’s embedded into everyday objects,” concluded East. “The drivers that I believe need to be in place to make this happen are innovation, increased levels of collaboration between businesses and technology companies, and overall greater energy-efficiency.”

Dr Mike Short, President of the IET said, “I expect smart technology will be integral to people’s everyday lives within the next ten years. It makes good sense for a smart dishwasher to come on at a time of day when electricity is cheap, and future smart meters will be able to control a wide variety of home appliances to reduce our carbon footprint.”  

Warren East’s lecture can be viewed in full on the IET.tv website.

Notes to Editors

The IET is Europe’s largest professional society for engineers and technicians with 150,000 members in 127 countries.

For more information about the IET please visit www.theiet.org

For more information, please contact:
Jon White / Anne Ligory
Rocket Communications
+44 (0) 8453 707 024

About IET Lectures
Attending an IET Lecture is your opportunity to see the future of engineering. IET Lectures are free to attend and are a key highlight of the IET’s events calendar. Showcasing the latest ideas and technologies, the nine lectures cover a range of engineering disciplines, ranging from general interest to the more technical.

The President of the IET begins his year in office with an inaugural lecture every October. Many of the lectures were established in memory of engineers who achieved exemplary and ground breaking work in their day. The speakers invited to give IET Lectures are of that calibre – innovative, forward-thinking and at the top of their game.

For more information, please visit: www.theiet.org/lectures

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