A perceptive recent post on LinkedIn by the NMI’s John Moor looks at some of the challenges faced as we develop wearable technology and build an Internet of Things based on ultra-low-power microcontrollers.
As we read it, one of John’s main arguments is that what we call “the IoT” isn’t really a “thing” of itself – it’s more a collection of enabling technologies, that will be at its most powerful when it effectively “disappears”, and becomes just an intrinsic part of the way we do things.
We think he’s right when he says that in many ways this is proving to be “a quiet revolution”. We will feel the real impact of the IoT indirectly. We won’t always see the technology that increases manufacturing efficiency, makes traffic flow better, or enables better healthcare. But it will be there, working behind the scenes.
Of course IoT and wearable technology still offers the opportunity for “quantum leap innovation” – there may well be revolutionary products and services just around the corner that no-one has yet foreseen. But the idea that the IoT will become woven into our everyday lives – in fact will be the fabric on which the future is based – is a powerful one.
If the IoT is a behind-the-scenes influence driving progress, it’s also good to see an increasing recognition that low-power semiconductors are instrumental to that change. As John points out, massive strides have already taken place in reducing the energy needs of electronic products – but sub-threshold transistor operation puts us at the start of an improvement curve that could rival Moore’s Law in its influence.
You can check out John Moor’s original post here.