Arise Labs, an independent research and development institute set up jointly by Wipro and imec, a Belgium based nanoelectronics research institute was launched in the campus of Wipro Technologies in Bangalore on Monday.
The centre would develop low cost hi-tech devices based on nanoelectromechanical systems based technology, or NEMS. This is next generation to MEMS, or microelectromechanical systems, that is prevalent today. These devices will find applications in remote healthcare, security systems and retail, according to Wipro, which is one of the partners in this venture.
Among the products it is planning to launch is a “health necklace”, a product launched by imec in Europe exactly a year back and is still a protype in India, awaiting scaling down of cost, said Rudi Cartuyves, vice president and general manager of process technology at imec. The necklace is a body stats monitor, which when worn by a person on his neck, will continuously transmit data to any connected system.
Such a product is also aimed at remote health monitoring for rural areas, and hence, need to be priced low. “We are trying to build a network of hospitals and doctors to sell this product to so that economy of scale will bring down product cost,” Cartuyves said. “We are also trying to replace some of the internal electronics with low cost nano-chips that can perform the same function, but perhaps with other compromises.”
Among other products is a mobile phone with a “nose”. “We are developing a kind of smell sense for mobile phones, which already have hearing and touch senses. This may find applications in India in testing air quality or alcohol levels in one’s breath. It would be cost effective simply because it’s integrated with a system that a majority of Indians own already,” said luc Van den hove, president and CEO of imec.
One of the other technologies that Arise Labs is working on, are hyperspectral imaging for detecting quality composition of food, or detecting foreign objects in security systems.