Nanotechnologies

Nanotechnology in our everyday products

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As early as the early 2000s, the development of functions and applications using nanotechnology in our daily lives was foreseen. Digital, mobility, housing, health and well-being, energy, environment, leisure and culture, security, food, etc. All sectors are concerned.
Today, innovation is "driven" by uses. The challenge is therefore for researchers, starting from user needs, to imagine the products and services of tomorrow. 

Ahe 2016 Wimbledon season is coming to an end. If tennis is rooted in tradition, it is also a ground for innovation. Thus, since 2015, Rafael Nadal has been playing with a connected racket. This integrates sensors in its handle to monitor and analyze his game and share it with his community. All fans can also simply equip themselves with this device, which is now available on the market.

Babolat Play, or when the racket becomes connected (France 3 Paris île-de-France)

 

Capture, connect, calculate, store

This racket contains, among other things, inertial sensors such as accelerometers (which measure the acceleration of an object, determine its orientation, inclination and speed of rotation), pressure sensors (which determine the pressure acting on a point or surface) and the electronics for processing the signal (the information collected) and transmitting it to the mobile interface (such as a mobile phone). This is a typical example ofInternet of Things (Internet of Thingsor IoT) which is based on the following functionalities: capture, connect, calculate and store.

Miniaturization

If the Internet of Things is a reality today, it is thanks to the extreme miniaturization of components. As early as 1965, Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, said that the number of transistors in an integrated circuit would double - at constant price - every year (this was later rectified by increasing the doubling rate to eighteen months). This law allowed the development of computing, then mobile telephony and now the Internet of Things. The miniaturization of transistors is part of what is called the nanotechnologies nanoscale: technologies designed and manufactured at the nanoscale 10-9 m = 0,000,000,001 meter, which is 1,000 times smaller than a human hair.

"Serious game"

Today, innovation is "driven" by uses. The challenge is therefore for researchers, starting from user needs, to imagine the products and services of tomorrow. How can this be done? Within the framework of theIRT Nanoelecan original approach to technology transfer has been implemented thanks to the gamification : Grenoble Ecole de Management and Leti, CEA Tech Institute have integrated 75 technologies, 100 everyday objects representing the various sectors of activity and 20 potential users in the serious game "Tech it! »

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Some examples

The e-textile

The e-textile or the transformation into intelligent textiles. Some of these textiles have metallic or semiconducting materials woven into the fibre for applications in sport, health or traceability.

"Inventing Tomorrow: The Intelligent Fabric" (8/60), Radio Television Switzerland
 

The "head up" system (heads-up displayor HUD)

This allows users to store information through screens without distracting them from their task. In particular, it is used to make driving easier.

Augmented reality car: navigation via head-up display, PSA Group
 

Skin conductance (electrodermal activity capture)

This technology measures changes in skin conductivity. When you sweat, your skin conducts electricity more easily than when you are at rest. Often used in combination with other measurement techniques, it can predict whether a person is nervous, stressed or lying (and vice versa if they are calm and sleeping). This technology is frequently used in psychology and medical research.



"Stopsleep", product demonstration video for drowsiness prevention at the wheel
 

Play as a lever for innovation

serious game raises the limits of the real world and invites to discover new functionalities: by combining different technologies, by imagining future devices, in short, by challenging researchers to always propose innovations at the service of society.

Hélène MichelProfessor - Serious Games & Innovation Management, Grenoble École de Management (GEM)

Mathilde Costes-MajorelVP Change Management, Commissariat à l'énergie atomique (CEA) - University of Paris-Saclay

The original text of this article was published on The Conversation.

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Header image: William Thielicke

 

 

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