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December 2014 • The PCB Magazine 11 time management, every industry is striving to im- prove the customer experience by simplifying, au- tomating and making more intelligent end-to-end processes, minimizing manual interventions and allowing the consumer to self-serve. By 2020, developed world life expectancy will increase by 0.5 years due to widespread adoption of wireless health monitoring technology. So five years from now, we're all expected to live (slightly) longer, healthier lives. The pace of this improvement will accelerate for some time as science and technology work to extend the ability of our bodies to last longer. That's good news for just about everyone. The technolo- gies described here are just a very small piece of what's going on. • By 2017, costs for diabetic care are reduced by 10% through the use of smartphones. Wearable monitors hold huge promise. Today, a simple wristband can collect heartbeat, tem- perature and a number of environmental factors. Wireless heart monitoring patches, smart shirts and sensors in accessories promise more accura- cy, choice and comfort to wearers. Transmission through wireless is straightforward. Data can be correlated against large cloud-based information repositories for sanctioned actions and through so- cial networks for anecdotal advice. Gartner expects data from remote monitoring devices to provide continued access from patients to medical practi- tioners. By 2017, nearly 20% of durable goods e-tailers will use 3D printing (3DP) to create personalized product offerings. This next quote provides some numbers backing up what most have seen coming for the last couple years. 3D will offer personaliza- tion, building off of a traditionally manufac- tured core, but every year, more and more of the core product will be customized until the entire product is built on demand directly by the seller. Some products lend themselves to 3D technology better than others, like a metal airplane parts where you only need a few each month. But that will change. Every year, more and more complex structures will fall to 3D printing. It will change everything. • By 2015, more than 90% of durable goods e-tailers will actively seek external partnerships to support the new, "personalized" product business models. 3DP is already having a profound impact on enabling startups to reduce infrastructure costs, compared with existing traditional manufacturing processes. As consumers increasingly show an ap- petite to control more product features and capa- bilities, e-tailers are recognizing the business po- tential of moving from "configurable" products to "personalized" made-to-order products enabled by 3DP. Almost every single durable goods category will see a surge in 3DP-enabled personalization and manufacturers will develop capabilities for bringing the consumer closer to the design experi- ence. The companies that set the strategy early will end up defining the space within their categories. This requires a corporate culture that is support- ive of nonconformance products, new front office "concierge" business capabilities, and back office IT and operations skills. It will require a new agil- ity that goes beyond rigid process automation, and may require entirely new business systems. There's much more in this Gartner press re- lease. And I do realize that these guys aren't al- ways right but there's just too much happening out there to believe at least some, if not all of their prognostications. That can't be too far off the mark. The day after that Gartner release was pub- lished, the company issued another one listing the top 10 technology trends. There you can read about IoT, 3D printing, smart machines and more. We'll continue to do our best to bring you as much information as we can going forward to help you stay on top of this revolution in technology. PCB PREDICTIONS continues ray rasmussen is the publisher and chief editor for i-connect007 Publications. he has worked in the industry since 1978 and is the former publisher and chief editor of CircuiTree Magazine. to read past columns, or to contact rasmussen, click here.

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