Sensors and Diagnostics
Sensors have evolved from simple measuring tools to smart appliances that are connected through the internet to the cloud and to each other. Our environment (and that includes humans) will slowly but surely evolve into an ‘internet-of-things’, where chips and sensors are distributed and integrated invisibly to assume their manifold tasks. Imagine a cloud of disposable sensors (so-called smart dust), each the size of a grain of sand, blown aloft by the wind and relaying data on a storm or weather system to weather stations below; or distributed over wide areas of inaccessible terrain (deserts, the Arctic, ocean surfaces and floors) to monitor for pollution; or moving through the veins in our body to monitor vital parameters and drug dosage. These sensors won't have an easy time as they will have to function day in, day out and cope with highly variable temperatures, humidity, aridity, and vibrations. They will have to keep on working in harsh conditions and still deliver reliable results.