A collection of some of the most brilliant minds in technology and development will gather in Celebration next week as Florida, for the first time, hosts the 2015 TSensors Summit.
The International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research (ICAMR) is hosting the summit, which will be held Dec. 9-10 at Florida Hospital Nicholson Center. The conference had previously been at at UC-Berkley, Stanford and San Diego.
"Pulling a conference like that out of California and into Central Florida is a wonderful opportunity," ICAMR CEO Chester Kennedy told GrowthSpotter. "It will give us a chance to showcase our talent, which I don't think we do a good enough job of. It's a chance for us to get some international recognition for what we're doing here."
Kennedy said the TSensors Summit attracts a literal "who's who in thought leadership" in the field of sensor technology.
Presenting speakers will discuss the application of trillion sensors, or T sensors, in fields ranging from agriculture, eHealth, mobile and fashion.
"We are currently facing an avalanche growth of sensor applications," said Dr. Janusz Bryzek, chair of the summit. The industry has grown from production of 10 million T sensors in 2007 - with the introduction of the first iPhone - to 15 billion this year.
The commercial applications are limitless, he said. A few examples include fitness tracking running shoes; smart diapers that send an alert when they're soiled; clothing and cosmetics that change colors; and ambulance drones that can deliver a defribrilator to a heart attack victim in minutes.
"What we're looking for are applications outside of mobile devices," he said.
On a global level, T sensors are being utilized to monitor pollution, noise and radiation, and to improve effiency in agriculture and fuel consumption.
"If we can find a way to improve the efficiency of gasoline by 1 percent, that translates to billions of dollars in savings," Brysek said.
Osceola County Economic Development Director Bill Martin said the summit provides local leaders with an unprecedented opportunity to sell the region to investors that could pump billions into Florida's economy. The county is currently building a 100,000-square-foot Florida Advanced Manufacturing Research Center in Kissimmee and will develop a 500-acre research park around it.
"First of all, as we get ready to open the FAMRC, we're trying to spread the word about the important work that's going to be going on here and the fact that we're looking for industry partners," Martin said. "If we could pique their interest in that, we could talk about great investment in greater Osceola County and Central Florida."
Bryzek said each summit has served as launching pads for new companies by serving as "matchmakers" for researchers and venture capital. "I am aware of five matches that were made after these meetings," he said. "I spun out the first company based on info I got at the first T Sensors Summit."
At that summit, Bryzek learned that 75 percent of the world's population had no access to medical imaging. A standard ultrasound imager can cost anywhere from $250,000 to $500,000 - and bringing down that cost was a priority of the World Health Organization.
So Bryzek founded eXo Systems, which is currently developing a handheld 4-D imaging device that's about the size of a smart phone and costs roughly $1,000. "It's in R&D now. We're planning market introduction in 2018," he said.