2012.32 | Devices Everywhere

The decreasing cost of electronics and technology means they are finding their way into different parts of our lives.  We already have musical greeting cards and screens everywhere, but things are getting increasingly hardcore with technology  built into more and more every day items.

Mobile Magazine AdCW Network is getting itself some great press this week after they ran an advertisement in Entertainment Weekly.  The ad had a complete SIM carrying mobile phone built into the magazine it that ran video advertisements and live tweets from their feed.

It would be my luck to throw this onto the airplane scanner and to have to explain it to the security types and have no idea what this was.

The devices were in a limited run of 1000 issues of the magazine.  Even though not placed in all of the magazines it shows how incredibly cheap technology has become.  We are at the point where a fully operational android phone is included in a partial run of a magazine to advertise.

Forget QR codes with links to videos to scan with your mobile.  Now packaging can extoll the wonders of the product within.  BYOD (Bring your own device) into retail hasn’t even gotten into full swing yet!

Nike Golf Club Sensors – Most technophiles are familiar with embedded sensors in running shoes or perhaps the Nike Fuel Band.  Sensors in these devices have been used to help users to improve their physical performance, or track their exercise regimen.  Nike recently took out a patent on placing sensors in golf clubs to actually improve personalization.  The sensors can assist customers by allowing them to really try out the clubs on a course as opposed to in an indoor showroom.  The customer gets the real feel on the course, and the sensors indicate if the clubs are a good fit for the client.

As the costs of these sensors drop ever lower and they become increasingly common, expect them to find their way into all sorts of items.  Going beyond fit, it could allow manufacturers to prompt customers when they are actually low on an item – say laundry detergent, and have it added to a shopping list.

Edible Sensors – In a recent podcast I listened with interest to a discussion about a project to build computers that can be digestible by the human body.  These experimental sensors are made of minerals such as magnesium that can be safely (and potentially even beneficially) absorbed by the body after they have completed their work.  In fact, the FDA approved some edible sensors in August.   These approved sensors are integrated into medication.  When a patient ingests the medication, and it reaches their stomach, the sensor sends data to a patch applied to the patients skin that in turn speaks to an external mobile app.   The sensors are then absorbed by the body.

With sensors this small, you can start to see how almost anything can be tracked electronically.   This solution is certainly a boon to those of us who can’t remember their medication, and it could once again even be used to assist in ensuring that consumers both actually take the medication they obtain, and that when they run low, a replacement order is placed.

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