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Get Smart

With the possible exception of humankind, everything these days seems to be getting smarter.

A while back, I did a post about “smart” basketballs, which have embedded sensors that capture all sorts of data that helps coaches diagnose and correct player problems. Then there are cars that parallel park themselves. Watches that let you know you’ve got a message – and maybe even let you respond to it. There’s even a smart trash bin that keeps an eye on what you’re throwing out to see whether you’re sending something to landfill that could actually be recycled.

The other day, I was reading about smart forks, of all things.

My initial reaction was, frankly, smart forks? Sounds like a dumb idea to me.

But then I read a bit about them, and thought a bit about them, and came to the conclusion that a device that helps people slow their eating down so they can lose some weight is not a half-bad idea at all.

The fork can be used to passively track eating habits and automatically sync that information, including duration of meals and frequency of forkfuls, with a smartphone…The device can also be set up for behavior modification, vibrating any time the diner is eating too quickly as a gentle reminder to slow down. (Source: CNN)

Okay, maybe that vibrating feature is a bit too much, and maybe we should all be able to figure out whether we’re eating too much, too fast, on our own, but it’s not the dumbest smart idea out there, that’s for sure.
Smart technology, of course, is not all about gadgets. There are obviously a lot of tremendously important uses that the development of ever more powerful, i.e., smarter (and ever less expensive) sensors is bringing us.

Think of the sensors used in prosthetic devices that make it easier for those who’ve lost their limbs to get back to normal living more quickly. Think about the sensors used in medical devices that let patients go home, while still having their doctor keep an eye on them. Think about sensors used to regulate utility use, making it more environmentally friendly.

Here at Critical Link, our focus is in the complex end of the application spectrum, so you’re not apt to find one of our Mity SoM family used in something like a smart fork. But we’re doing our part of make the world a smarter place. (If only we could do something about humankind…)