Microchips in Mundane Places

Author: Notre Dame ESTEEM

The microchip, once a marvel of modern technology and the fuel for countless previous waves of innovation is more ubiquitous than ever. From football helmets to toilets and shoes to lawnmowers, one is left to ask, “Where won’t we find chips?”


Chips accounts for about $300 billion a year in sales with computers and smart phones accounting for about a third of that. Obviously, innovators and entrepreneurs have found countless other uses for the flexible and all-so-relevant microchip. How about a pen with a camera and audio recorder? Or a fishing reel that controls how fast line is withdrawn from its spool?


Needless to say, microchips will be with us for a long time to come. However, we need to ask ourselves what future innovation will further leverage this proven technology? Or better yet—what will the next generation of chips be capable of and what role will you play in its development?