Tech of the Week: Four cent accelerometer
Who: Harvard research team, led by Harvard Chemistry Prof. George Whitesides, presented its design and experimental results for the microelectromechanical systems force sensor at the Institution for Electrical and Electronics Engineers MEMS 2011 conference.
What: The MEMS force sensor is a paper accelerometer that senses motion and measures an object's g-forces. Priced at four cents each, the MEMS force sensor emulates the piezoresistive silicon MEMS sensors that are found in car airbag systems, bridges, iPhones and Wii remotes.
The Future: Whiteside said he doesn't anticipate paper sensors replacing silicon accelerometers. He expects the low-cost and easy-to-assemble devices to be used in different areas, from consumer appliances to medicine. Kevin Dowling, vice president for research and development at mc10 - a flexible-electronics start-up in Cambridge, Mass. -, said if sensors can be made on paper then they "can [be made] on stretchable, biocompatible substrates, and then ... can mimic the properties of skin."
-compiled by Faiza Arif