Most of us may have heard of ARM, however for those of you that may not. ARM, a British company from Cambridge was originally founded on November 1990 under the name of Acorn RISC Machines Ltd. Back in 1990 ARM became a joint venture between Apple, Acorn Computers (I remember the old Acorn computer well as my cousin had one) and VLSI Technology, (Very Large Scale Integration – Technology) another US company based in California, who specialised in Microchips. It was at this point ARM changed from Acorn RISC Machines to Advanced RISC Machines, obviously incorporating Apple and VLSI Technology.
Today however ARM’s designs are in the vast majority, if not all, smartphone and tablet device across the globe, it is also worth mentioning that ARM design chips and Micro-Processors as opposed to manufacturing them. Aside from mobile phones and tablets, ARM currently have micro-processors in washing machines and cars.
ARM’s latest venture is code named Flycatcher, official name Cortex-MO+ and whilst in many respects the very essence of the future, some individuals may find the technology another avenue for the Government or possibly worse still, the highest third party bidder; to invade our day to day privacy and basic Human Rights.
Essentially, Flycatcher is ARM’s design to place a Micro-Processor in every electrical and battery powered device in the world. Already a good example of Flycatcher in action is a trial currently running in Parking Meters in San Francisco. Drivers are able to log onto the internet and locate a car parking area close to their destination via GPS. They are then able to pay for and pre book the space before they arrive at their destination, obviously taking the very time consuming nightmare of finding a free parking area in the City centre. There are of course so many pros to this venture, but as with most things in life, groups have already been hard at work highlighting the cons to such an idea.
Where ARM want to extend Flycatcher is into things such as traffic lights, where they can be manually operated during peek traveling times in order to ease congestion. Another excellent use for Flycatcher in traffic lights would be for emergency services, as they log in ordinates to reach a fire, crime scene or road accident; traffic light systems could be programmed to allow fast and safe access to the emergency service.
ARM have also expressed use for Flycatcher in a conservation vain. Due to the incredibly miniature size of the processor, which ARM have declared as less than a millimetre square and the fact that the processor uses very little power but can itself run in a battery operated device for up to years at a time without changing a battery. Devices could be designed to implant of tress to monitor and record rainfall data and other significant conservation information.
The list is endless for ARM and Flycatcher, the processor could be implemented into lighting and heating components in the average home along with white appliances such as fridge’s and washing machines. People would be able to connect, via 3g, 4g or WiFi in essence to their homes, regulating heating, checking what food they need etc. This again is said to help us reduce and save our energy consumption. Hospitals and GP surgeries is another platform for Flycatcher to thrive, readings from blood pressure, heart monitoring equipment, etc could be collated much faster and effectively and thus reducing GP and hospital staffs time from record keeping and concentrating on patient care, the fundamentals of hospital care that seems to have slipped by the wayside as a result of paper work and red tape.
I have provided links to ARMs official page on Flycatcher where a lot more in-depth and technical information is displayed. However, whilst I always remain impartial on Techmedia Fusion, there is no disputing that this venture from ARM is incredible, from so many environmental and economical view points, however despite the good, groups will form in order to highlight the moral and ethical lines crossed or potentially crossed through such a technology. Today, it is constantly in the press about privacy rights regarding the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter, Social Networking and simple tasks such as adding a profile to the likes of Facebook, can cause all sorts of privacy debates.