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Joan Enric Ricart Costa, Professor, IESE University of Navarra

Tomorrow's technology

Sun, 11 Aug 2013 08:45:00 +0000 Published in La Vanguardia

You don't have to look far into the future to visualize an interconnected world. From fixed networks we have moved to the dominance of mobility. From the predominance of voice we have reached a world of Internet connections. And the next step already emerging will be what we commonly call the Internet of Things, a world full of sensors in the most remote and unexpected places, interconnected, with distributed intelligence, making a multitude of decisions that will affect us in our daily lives. And this world is already here.

So let's visualize this world full of sensors, many active, many interconnected, but all electronic. Some of these sensors will resemble those we already observe if we look carefully and indicate presence, use, need for action¿ But increasingly we will need sensors, or rather some subject of intelligence, some subject of electronics, on flexible surfaces, perhaps textiles, or even on the body itself. And here comes into play an emerging technology whose limits are totally unimaginable, printed electronics in our global world.

On June 7, report Printed electronics and emerging macrotrends, prepared by Cetemmsa, was presented at the Iese headquarters in Barcelona. We can open at random some of the pages of the document to understand some applications of this technology that are envisioned in the near and not so near future. For example, we can imagine that in the decade from 2020 to 2030 we will have lots of biosensors that can even reflect our emotions, we can fill in our comfort in a spa with electrothermal accessories or with electro-massages, all adapted to our own idiosyncrasies.

We can also imagine with luminescence or heating incorporated in a multitude of constructive or decorative elements, or elements that improve our comfort in the car.

The possibilities of medical applications, sensors on the body, ergonomic or pharmaceutical improvements, enhancement of e-health ... There are no limits to the imagination in this field.
Closer to the current decade we see possible applications in the textile world, in games, in toys, in smart cities... and all these applications are already possible, they are just around the corner to create for all of us a more comfortable future, a safer future, a smarter future. All this and more is already a reality thanks to the effort researcher and development technological carried out and underway at this time in Cetemmsa.

But the future is made by walking. The technology is already present, some elements more advanced, others in more incipient stages but ready to help our industrial fabric to create the future we have described. Now imagination is needed to develop novel applications, entrepreneurship is needed to design the appropriate business model to exploit these opportunities, partnership is needed between the technology center and the companies and entrepreneurs of our country and the world to make this future a reality. Cetemmsa lends itself in this environment to transmit the technology, to work on prototypes, to develop the business model , at final, to innovate with differentiable and great products added value.

Cetemmsa is a technology center specialized in printed, flexible and flat electronics, an alternative to traditional silicon electronics, thus enabling new functionalities on different types of surfaces, whether textile, plastic, paper...

Cetemmsa has launched an ambitious strategic plan aimed at partnership with companies and organizations around the world, with the ambition of reaching high levels of international excellence in its field of specialization program; all of us who participate in some way in Cetemmsa share this ambition and urge the most visionary and innovative companies to join us on this path. The future is already waiting at our door. Do you want to enter? We are waiting for you.