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Hope on the horizon: Embedded Electronics

MIT faculty and researchers offer their thoughts on potentially life-altering
technologies that lie just around the corner.

Michael S. Strano

Charles and Hilda Roddey Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering

One transformation on the near term horizon is the embedding of low-cost electronics into almost every object that we encounter on a day-to-day basis. A pair of sunglasses may have the ability to project a visual display accessing the Internet, have an embedded cell phone and actuate other devices as one glances at them. The technology for this already exists. Flexible electronic paper and electronic clothing will change the way information is projected and harnessed at a personal level. Everyday objects may sense, detect and constantly adjust to our environment, controlling temperature, lighting, noise level, etc.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 21, 2008 (download PDF).

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