Think your smartphone is useful because it’s got apps and maps and so forth?
Well, certainly it is, in its own way. But usefulness is about to leap to a whole new level if the fruits of the Nokia Sensing X Challenge are as tasty as we think they’re going to be.
The $2.25 million competition – announced in San Diego today – is about stimulating the development of next-generation sensors and sensing technologies that can revolutionise healthcare, tackling problems that has current technology stumped.
It’s looking for real inventions that will allow individuals and healthcare providers to effortlessly monitor and analyse real-time health data. Perhaps the solutions will help to address the early detection of illnesses, teenage obesity or help people with conditions like asthma or allergies.
Nokia’s interested in this area not just because it’ll improve people’s health, but because it’s one area where the next wave of smarter devices will differentiate themselves from their not-so-smart-now competitors.
It’s worth noting that the US alone spends more than $2 trillion on healthcare each year at present. Developments that help address that cost and increase efficiencies are worth quite a lot more than their weight in gold.
Nokia CTO Henry Tirri agrees: “This competition will help us realize the full potential of mobile sensing devices, and we believe that advances in sensing technology will lead to mobile platforms that seamlessly integrate into consumers’ lives and better adapt to their needs and physical environment.”
The competition will be a series of three events, held over the next three years. So if you’re an inventor, a crack team of scientists or simply curious about what the future holds, head over to the competition site – nokiasensingxchallenge.org – to find out more. And read what X Prize CEO and Chairman Peter Diamandis has to say about the importance of the prize.