The Future of Analog survey results – the people have spoken!

Over the past several months I’ve been blogging about how analog is shaping our future – especially over the next decade. But we really wanted to hear what YOU think will be important. In my last post we created a survey for you to give feedback on five innovations that could have a big impact on our daily lives. The results are now in and this is how you voted:

1)      Cars automatically correct mistakes made by the driver, eliminating avoidable accidents – 32.1 %

2)      Residential connected alarm systems send notifications to the homeowner when sensors detect something at home needs attention, allowing the homeowner to remedy issues faster – 25.6 %

3)      A gasoline-powered engine automatically shuts off when stopped, then restarts when the driver presses the accelerator, reducing fuel consumption – 22.6 %

4)      Electronics-enabled pills provide internal body information less invasively, making patient tests and procedures more comfortable – 14.6 %

5)      Factory production lines continually operate because equipment diagnoses itself through smart sensors prior to a failure, avoiding costly downtime – 5.1 %

It’s very clear that we love our cars! And we want to feel safe in them, too. This is important since we are spending more and more time commuting and traveling in them. So it makes perfect sense that correcting driver errors would be on top of the must-have list to ensure safety for drivers and others. This sentiment is also reflected in the market with the fast growth and adoption rate of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) in cars.

Talking about cars, who hasn’t been affected by the price of gasoline and the uncertainty of what you will be paying at the pump in years to come? So you can be sure that you will see many creative options to minimize fuel intake, such as stop-start functionality or hybrid-electric and fully electric cars. With all the advanced features becoming available, the experience of buying a new car goes way beyond the miles per gallon and creature comfort decisions. Driving in 2025 will be very different from today with the “autopilot,” as described in science fiction stories for decades, finally becoming a reality.

An old saying is, “A man’s home is his castle.” But castles were never equipped with all of the electronics that will soon become available. With everyone in the household on varying schedules, the need to manage a house remotely is becoming essential for saving energy and time. It’s a given these days that you can remotely monitor some basic things like intruders. But analog, embedded processing and wireless connectivity electronics will allow you to monitor and manage a wide variety of tasks. For instance, you could be at the grocery store but forgot to check the refrigerator to see what’s needed. You will be able to take an inventory remotely without having to go back home. What a time-saver!

Miniaturization is clearly being taken advantage of in the health technology field. Medical equipment will continue to shrink in size and increase in capabilities. New devices will go where no medical equipment has gone before to perform minimally invasive procedures that previously would have required extensive surgery. In the field of medical imaging, smaller size is enabling imaging technology at the point of care. The sports team medical staff can now bring hand-held imaging equipment right onto the field to help diagnose injury and develop a plan of care for athletes. Outside of the clinical realm, smaller technology has allowed the consumer industry to turn fitness into a lifestyle with wearable devices monitoring personal activity and fitness 24/7 in the form of inconspicuous bands or watches. Wondering how many calories you burned walking between meetings today? Wonder no more with devices like the Fitbit®.

While industrial improvements were lower on the survey list, I think it has the potential to make the biggest impact on our lives – albeit indirect. The advancements being made in industrial environments has the potential to significantly reduce the cost of manufacturing products while improving worker safety. This not only affects the manufacture of high-tech items like electronics, but also clothing and even food processing, not to mention the transportation required to deliver them, and the infrastructure required to make it all possible.

Thank you for joining me as we peer into our future and see how analog is making the difference. Of course, a big thank you to all who participated in taking our survey. Be sure to check out other bloggers, such as Analog: The real world, or join a forum discussion on the TI E2E™ Community.

  • A gas powered car that automatically stops when the car is stationary? I have been driving one of those for over three years. I get about 60 MPG (Imperial gallons, not US) One of the joys of living in the real world (UK)