Intel CEO Brian Krzanich loves tinkering at the workplace, and in his personal life. Krzanich’s interview in re/Code highlights exciting prospects of a whole new spectrum of innovative solutions, which propel Intel into the wonderful world of smart wearables. On a mission to change both the way Intel thinks and the speed at which it moves, Krzanich asserts that “The Velocity of Innovation is starting to accelerate.” I wish Intel and Krzanich a very Happy New Year of Innovation and look forward to innovative wearables, such as those announced at 2014 Consumer Electronics Show. While I’m at it, let me call out a particular wearable that stood out for me for various reasons – the “Diagnostic Skinfrom the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign (UIUC) and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB). Innovation brings out its best at intersections -- nothing like it happening at crossroads of academia and industry for wearables.

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Forrester analyst, Tim Sheedy, says wearable computing isn’t going to end up as “technology for technology’s sake.” This point is brought home by this international multidisciplinary team, including UIUC researchers and NIBIB scientists, who have developed this sophisticated “electronic skin.” This new technology adheres non-invasively to human skin, conforms well to contours and provides a detailed temperature map of any surface of the body! This “Diagnostic Skin” is a variation of a novel technology, originally developed in the lab of Professor John Rogers at UIUC, called “epidermal electronics.” Consisting of ultrathin, flexible skin-like arrays, the new material resembles a tattoo of a micro-circuit board. The arrays, developed with NIBIB, contain sensors and heating elements. For more details, checkout Nature Materials and NIBIB News & Events.

Here are the top 5 characteristics of the Diagnostic Skin that stand out for me:


1. Seamless. Compliant skin-like sensor/actuator technology that can pliably laminate onto the epidermis.

2. Continuous. Continuously obtains accurate thermal characterizations.

3. Precise. Millikelvin (1/1000th Kelvin) precision thermometry of the skin can provide relevant information about various important aspects of human physiology.

4. Non-invasive. Non-invasive spatial mapping of skin temperature.

5. Real-time. Simultaneous quantitative assessment of tissue thermal conductivity.


Krzanich loves innovating — whether it is tweaking gear inside the chipmaker’s plants, or helping his daughters with their science projects. I can relate to the innovative spirit that underlines what is done through science projects at high schools, college-level competitions as well as Research Labs in companies such as HP and Intel. Being the proud parent of a UIUC undergraduate engineering student opens up opportunities for us as a family to witness first-hand the innovative thoughts that kindle the next generation of engineers and scientists.


In 2014 — the Year of Relevance — I look forward to many of these innovative wearables becoming a
reality in a cost-effective manner, as projected by many analysts including Sheedy.


While academic institutions (such as UIUC) groom the next generation of innovators, I am excited about organizations (such as Intel and HP), championing the next generation of innovation.

Welcome to the crossroads of academia and industry – a fertile ground for innovation – in the Year of Relevance.


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