MEMS Technology Showcase finalists highlight “MEMS Inside the Machine”

MEMS Technology Showcase will give MEMS Executive Congress US attendees an intimate look at some of the most unique and inspiring MEMS-enabled applications in the business. After a competitive application process, MEMS Industry Group (MIG) has selected five finalists that show how MEMS enhances the consumer experience, highlighting the “MEMS inside the machine.” Each finalist will get five minutes to wow the audience, who will then text-message vote for their favorite demo. Moderator Ivo Stivoric, vice president of research and development, Jawbone, will host the Showcase session. The winner will be crowned at the end of the conference by MIG Executive Director Karen Lightman.

MEMS Technology Showcase finalists include:

Bluechiip Limited

The Bluechiip Cryogenic Smart-Chiip is a miniaturized passive identification device used to track and manage the viability and quality of high-value biological samples in cryogenic applications. The Smart-Chiip represents a generational change from traditional tracking methods such as labels (hand-written and pre-printed), barcodes (linear and 2D) and RFID, to offer numerous advantages such as temperature measurement to the sample level, immunity to gamma radiation, and cryogenic storage and frosting. The Smart-Chiip is based on MEMS technology and contains no electronics. It can either be embedded or manufactured into cryogenic consumables, such as cryogenic vials, cassette and rack systems (see photo), and freezers. It is designed for use in conjunction with the Bluechiip Matchbox Reader and the Bluechiip Stream - - a web-based sample and inventory management software.


DigitalOptics Corporation

DigitalOptics mems|cam product is a fully integrated smartphone camera module that uses MEMS to position lens elements offering speed, power and precision advantages over existing “voicecoil” motors. In combination with DigitalOptics’ computational imaging software, the smart mems|cam actuators deliver compelling end-user features such as multi-focus, continuous autofocus, instant face focus, and DigitalAperture, empowering smartphone OEMs to further differentiate their phones.

Digital Optics


Electro-Harmonix has been making effects pedals for guitarists since the 1960s and is still one of the leading manufacturers of effects today. Introduced in the 1960s, the wah pedal quickly gained popularity, with guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison and Jimmy Page relying on it to manipulate the sound of their electric guitars, enhancing both their solos and rhythmic play. Although essential to many guitarists, the design of the wah pedal remained frustratingly the same for decades. Electro-Harmonix’s new Crying Tone wah pedal is a major step forward in wah pedal design. Controlled with a MEMS device and using an enclosure completely free of moving parts, there is nothing to break! The entire enclosure is rotated by the guitarist’s foot while the accelerometer senses the angle of rotation. The Crying Tone is literally the first advancement in wah pedal design since the 1970s.

Electro Harmonix


Designed for HP Officejet Pro X Series desktop and multi-function printers, HP PageWide Technology leverages MEMS technology to deliver up to twice the speed at up to half the printing cost of other color laser printers. Each HP PageWide Technology die contains 4224 nozzles with integrated logic, thermal resistor thin films, and advanced microfluidics. Ten die are then built into an immobile printhead that spans the width of a page, simultaneously delivering four colors of HP pigment ink onto a moving sheet of paper. Because the paper moves while the printhead does not, HP Officejet Pro X Series printers are quiet and reliable while offering blazing-fast print speeds and a rapid first page out.


MicroGen Systems, Inc.

MicroGen’s BOLT Power Cell is a drop-in battery substitute that uses mechanical energy (e.g., ambient vibration) instead of the chemical energy produced by environmentally unfriendly materials. The ‘heart’ of this alternative DC power source is a MEMS-based piezoelectric vibrational energy harvester, which is in production at X-FAB MEMS Foundry Itzehoe in Germany. MicroGen’s BOLT Power Cell eliminates primary cells and/or extends the lifetime of rechargeable batteries in wireless sensor network (WSN) applications. This is especially important in industrial and building applications as it eliminates the costs (primarily labor) of battery replacement, which has inhibited the widespread adoption of WSNs in these settings.



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