position. The reader can see that there is an ultrasonic sensor array beneath a user’s hand and once the input parameters are gathered, the software must generate ultrasonic waves at just the right frequencies to be detected by the human hand. This is not an easy feat given that the ultrasonic waves must construct at just the right distance and position in space to provide accurate and realistic tactile feedback.
The Ultrahapics solution is just one example where software innovation is viewed as much more important than hardware. Another example is to examine the open source hardware platforms that provide a generic hardware system such as Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Beagle Bone Black, and the like. Common hardware pieces that result in a completely new innovation once software is written for it.
In many circumstances today, the innovation is in the software. This doesn’t mean that we should ignore hardware and stop trying to push the envelope. Software innovation can never occur without standing on the shoulders of hardware innovators first. At the end of the day, the software driving that hardware can often do more than anyone might ever imagine.
Jacob Beningo is an embedded software consultant who currently works with clients in more than a dozen countries to dramatically transform their businesses by improving product quality, cost and time to market. He has published more than 200 articles on embedded software development techniques, is a sought-after speaker and technical trainer and holds three degrees which include a Masters of Engineering from the University of Michigan. Feel free to contact him at [email protected], at his website, and sign-up for his monthly Embedded Bytes Newsletter .