Press release

‘Smart’ Technology to be Ubiquitous in Everyday Items

27 October 2011


As smart phones and tablet devices increasingly penetrate the UK and global markets, Warren East, Chief Executive Officer of ARM, the leading supplier of semiconductor IP, has predicted that smart technology will become so ingrained in our future lives that people will see it in a variety of everyday items. Anything from shaving mirrors you can check email in, to smart bandages that can help healthcare and be read through a tablet device.

Speaking at the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) recent Young Professionals’ Event in London, Mr East suggested that phones and tablets are just the beginning of the ‘smart’ revolution, as the technology begins to penetrate all aspects of our everyday lives over the next few years. However, he also identified a number of factors that both drive and inhibit this shift and innovation in general.

The key factors surrounding the development and proliferation of smart technology were cited by East as:

  • Connectivity – This helps drive global adoption and new applications, but increases network capacity, speed and bandwidth requirements
  • Context Awareness – This factor supports the development of sensors and smart software that we see in mobile devices, but requires transformational change and understanding of how people interact with technology, which create new technical and operational challenges
  • Affordability – Devices and technology are becoming more affordable, creating new demand, and supply chain transformation (e.g. systems integration, new processes and ubiquity). However, network and energy costs need to be contained, as does complexity
  • Efficiency and Performance – This has led to mobile devices that use multiple processors and increased power usage. However, battery technology is not improving fast enough to fuel demand, so other solutions have to be found

“Today handheld devices do a lot for many people, but the real manifestation of this smart technology will be when it’s embedded into everyday objects,” concluded East. “The drivers that I believe need to be in place to make this happen are innovation, increased levels of collaboration between businesses and technology companies, and overall greater energy-efficiency.”

Dr Mike Short, President of the IET said, “I expect smart technology will be integral to people’s everyday lives within the next ten years. It makes good sense for a smart dishwasher to come on at a time of day when electricity is cheap, and future smart meters will be able to control a wide variety of home appliances to reduce our carbon footprint.”  

Warren East’s lecture can be viewed in full on the IET.tv website.

Media enquiries to:

Robert Beahan
External Communications Manager

Tel: +44 (0)1438 767336
Mob: +44 (0)7595 400912
Email: rbeahan@theiet.org

Notes to editors:

  • The IET is Europe’s largest professional society for engineers and technicians with 150,000 members in 127 countries.
  • For more information about the IET please visit www.theiet.org