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English
March 14-16,2018
Shanghai New International Expo Centre

David Allan

David Allan
President, Virtuix Inc.

Biography

After graduating from the University of Waterloo's systems design engineering program, David Allan spent twenty years launching complex electrical, optical, and mechanical products in Asia. He has led teams at a major contract manufacturer, Flextronics, and participated in successful startups in Taiwan and mainland China.

At Flextronics, David managed the supply chain for two divisions totaling $350 million in annual sales. From Flextronics, David joined ERP Power LLC, a U.S. startup that became a world leader in high-efficiency LED drivers. David set up its China manufacturing facility, served as the factory's legal head, and grew China staffing to 200 employees.

In 2013, David joined Virtuix Inc. as president to help solve one of VR's oldest challenges: how to move around in the virtual world. The Virtuix Omni™ enables you to walk, run, and jump in 360 degrees, immersing your mind and body in the virtual world. Virtuix launched the Omni on Kickstarter, generating $1.1 million in advance sales. Since then Virtuix has raised $16 million from U.S. and china investors. Mass-production of the Omni started in 2016.

Abstract

How Entertainment, Automotive, and Voice Will Fuel New Demand for MEMS and Sensors

The rise of the smartphone has driven massive uptake of MEMS and sensors. Yet as smartphone penetration reaches an ever-greater share of the world's population, demand for smartphone sensors, while still huge, won't grow nearly as fast as before. So what's next for the industry?

The answer lies in the shift from cloud to edge. Computing, in the early years, was centralized (the days of the mainframe). As PCs took over, it moved to the edge. Then in recent years, the rise of the cloud pulled it back to the center. Now it's set to return to the edge. And whereas PCs, the first devices to inhabit the edge, did not need sensors, new edge devices — which must measure the world and react in real-time — require sensors in vast variety and quantity.

These new edge-computing devices will change the way we live and work, in the process generating huge new demand for MEMS and sensors. Three areas will drive especially high growth:
  • Automotive. The autonomous car is a datacenter on wheels, the ultimate IoT machine. And it needs A LOT of sensors. To deliver the low latency and accuracy needed for safety, sensor fusion will redundantly blend outputs of sensors of all kinds: optical, acoustic, inertial, and positional.
  • Voice. Amazon's Echo and similar voice-operated systems from Google and Microsoft will penetrate our homes, linking in turn to thousands of other devices, all needing sensors.
  • Entertainment. Edge computing will bring us “mixed reality” — the blending of the virtual and real worlds — that requires precise mapping of our physical environment.

The presentation discusses the above sources of demand, including a fully worked supply-chain example of the third category, a virtual reality system that uses more than 100 magnetic, inertial, and optical sensors.