Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have developed an incredible light, flexible, and fast new type of transistor that could very well power the future of wearable technology.
This transistor operates at a record 38 gigahertz, with simulations showing that it could reach speeds of as much as 110 gigahertz. This puts them on part with even some of the fastest computers.
How these transistors are created is also unique. It involves a reusable mold created with nanoimprint lithography and cutting the membrane with a nano-knife.
This gives you a small, ultra-thin and flexible transistor that can be used in a greater range of applications while providing extraordinary performance.
Not only that, but because the mold can be reused, it can be used to scale production in a process called roll-to-roll processing which will enable semiconductor manufacturers to produce devices on a roll of flexible plastic, in mass quantities.
Not only that, but their ultra-narrow design makes it possible to pack more transistors into a narrow space.
One type of product that can be made with this technology: wearables.
Because these electronics are flexible and thin, they are a perfect candidate for the world of wearables where weight and flexibility are of critical importance.
Wearable fitness trackers, heart monitors, smart clothing, watches, and more could be made using these flexible transistors without sacrificing in power or performance. In fact, they might even make them inherently more powerful.
Here’s the downside. This technology isn’t ready for commercial production yet. There is still a lot of research to be done, and there hasn’t yet been any official estimates as to when it might be ready for prime time.
Even today, engineers are struggling to find new ways to make wearable devices smaller, thinner, lighter, and more powerful. We’ve reached a point where if we want to make a more minuscule computer, we’re going to have to create new technologies to do so.
With this, and other technologies on the horizon, it’s safe to say for all the great devices on the market, we’ve seen nothing yet.
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The rapid growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the tandem acceleration in malicious attacks on connected devices will drive worldwide expenditures on IoT security by 24% this year to $348 million. And that’s the good news; according to a new report that momentum is expected to accelerate significantly after 2020.
An Information Week article reported Gartner’s latest predictions on the IoT security market in a new market report released this week entitled “Forecast: IoT Security, Worldwide, 2016”.
“Gartner forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from 2015, and will reach 11.4 billion by 2018,” said Gartner research director Ruggero Contu. “However, considerable variation exists among different industry sectors as a result of different levels of prioritization and security awareness.”
The Gartner report sees moderate IoT security spending in the next few years as the technology continues to establish itself. It predicts respectable spending growth that will increase to $547 million in 2018 and to $841 million in 2020.
However, after 2020 the report expects IoT security spending to take on much greater momentum, “as improved skills, organizational change and more scalable service options improve execution.”
The adoption of IoT technology in both consumer and industrial sectors will also be a major growth accelerant in connected devices. And as the proliferation of connected devices accelerates, IoT vendors will be forced to prioritize a radically evolving set of security challenges.
Gartner’s report anticipates that over 25% of identified security attacks on enterprises will be IoT-related by 2020. Yet with less than 10% of IT security budgets expected to be allocated to IoT by then, a dangerous security mismatch is looming.
In light of budget restrictions, vendors will struggle to create immediate security fixes and so will likely focus excessively on exploits and vulnerabilities. But Gartner predicts that the industry’s preoccupation with putting out IoT security fires will distract them from finding long-term security solutions.
In order to properly secure IoT, enterprises will “focus more and more on the management, analytics and provisioning of devices and their data,” said Contu. “IoT business scenarios will require a delivery mechanism that can also grow and keep pace with requirements in monitoring, detection, access control and other security needs.”
He adds that cloud-based security services are vital to the ensuring that IoT technology reach its full potential in strength and scale. Gartner predicts that by 2020 half of all IoT implementations will employ some type of cloud-based security to satisfy regulatory and reliability demands.
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Smart irrigation controller GreenIQ is integrating its Smart Garden Hub with Nest’s Protect, that firm’s smoke detector and alarm.
When Nest Protect detects a fire, it will alert the Smart Garden Hub, which will activate sprinklers to avoid a garden fire. In the event of an emergency, the hub will activate any outdoors lights to alert the family and neighbors to the event.
The sprinklers will remain on for 20 minutes, unless the user manually turns them off. Users can also set the GreenIQ sprinklers to continuously run regardless of the Nest Protect’s status, to ensure that all areas in the garden are damp.
Over 2,500 people lose their lives and 12,000 suffer injuries from house fires in the United States annually. As well, with extreme drought conditions in several western and southern states, small fires can quickly spread through dried out gardens and threaten neighborhoods.
GreenIQ hopes that the integration will lower that number, and also lower the amount of direct property loss due to fire damages, which was estimated at $7.3 billion last year.
“It has always been our mission to help make gardens smarter and allow people to feel more connected to their green spaces,” said Odi Dahan, founder and CEO of GreenIQ. “Our integration with Nest is taking it one step further by not only helping our customers save money and conserve water, but also helping to decrease any anxiety people may have about potential fires.”
GreenIQ Smart Garden Hub is one of a growing list of garden IoT systems, focused on ensuring plants and grass have enough water to grow while lowering the amount of water used everyday. The system offers a smart analytics platform to tell the customer how much water should be used, the most optimal position for sprinklers, and the best ways to keep their garden alive, all from the smartphone app.
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