Things we typically think of as hardware promise to become softer. The latest engineering research is opening some amazing new vistas for intelligent medical and biological devices that will help people while not being quite as physically fixed and intrusive. Charles Q. Choi explains the amazing application (“Soft Circuits” Scientific American, June 2013, p. 21):
“Now researchers say they have developed a type of circuit that is soft and porous—more like a net than a chip. Manufacturers could weave these circuits into an extraordinary range of materials to create ‘smart matter’ that scans and reacts to its surroundings or even ‘cyborg tissues’—human skin and organs that could report on their own health.”
These circuits could also be combined with gels comprised of human cells. This technology allows for increased integration of electronics reporting systems in our bodies. Ultimately, damaged organ replacement could occur or even enhanced human organ performance.
You probably feel the same way I do in that I want to keep all my original body parts as long as possible at full functionality. Nevertheless, it is nice to know science and technology always have innovations in the pipeline that might help us some day when our original parts bite the dust.
Repeatedly we see the adage unfold—today’s science fiction is tomorrow’s science. Moreover, as each day goes by, it becomes more exciting and more difficult just to keep up with it.