“By means of electricity, the world of matter has become a great nerve, vibrating thousands of miles in a breathless point of time.”

This was posted in 140 characters or less by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1850 and is even more prophetic 170 years later.

In the last five years, the number of wirelessly connected devices globally has nearly tripled. As 5G technology continues to integrate into the market, expect this pace to accelerate. It’s not just cell phones. Now wirelessly transmitting light switches, cars, and doorbells have become common consumer goods. And everything from smart toothbrushes to toasters to tennis rackets are available for consumers with discriminating tastes.

Out with the old, in with the new. Such is the nature of consumer electronics, but some devices aren’t as easy to discard. Surgically implanted medical devices must last for the long haul. We are seeing increasing numbers of reports of medical devices performing improperly due to electromagnetic interference. This can be attributed to two obvious factors: a rapid growth in both the number of electronic medical devices and wirelessly transmitting devices in general. This is not inherently bad, just inevitable. The widespread availability of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators, spinal cord stimulators, and implantable insulin pumps have improved countless lives and advances in telecommunications should be seen as net positives.

The average lifespan for a pacemaker is up to 15 years. There are pacemakers active today that have seen the of release of all 29 different iPhone models. Certainly, the engineers of the early 2000’s designed their devices to last, but they may not have foreseen the wireless revolution that was just on the horizon. As the president of 2006 said: “I think we agree, the past is over.”

Of course, the cat and mouse technological advancement works both ways. At one point, there was concern about people with pacemakers operating microwaves. Design and shielding have advanced alongside wireless technology and the lifespans of these products are only increasing. Designers of today are tasked with creating products for the world of tomorrow. When you face the challenges of designing for the future, you can rely on NPI Services as your trusted partner for full turnkey quick turn electronic manufacturing services and EMI compatibility testing. Our over-the-top customer service can help you navigate the world of modern electronics; increasingly integrated and instantaneously connected much like Hawthorne’s observation:

“By means of electricity, the world of matter has become a great nerve, vibrating thousands of miles in a breathless point of time. Rather, the round globe is a vast head, a brain, instinct with intelligence! Or, shall we say, it is itself a thought, nothing but a thought, and no longer the substance which we thought.”