EMF Radiation in the age of ubiquitous computing

Computing is changing form from clunky weighty, ungainly devices to omnipresent intelligence through a network of machines, sensors and devices. What impact does ubiquitos computing bear on EMF around us?

In 1991, the Scientific American carried a incisive and forebearing article on the future of computers and computing. It was written by Mark Weisner. Weisner envisaged a bold vision of a world where computing would not be limited to computing devices – instead every thing in the physical world would be a subset of the greater computing world – keeping the user at its core.

Analytics, intelligence and decision making would be fundamental to all devices in home and travel and work – seemlessly integrating future consequences by directing favourable actions towards the results. Therefore computing will not be a limited to a microchip mounted on a mother-board, rather it will be a invisble substrate powering an immersive media experience that will add layers to our perceptual capabilities and sensory states. With such pervasive computing, you will not even be aware that computing is happening at the core of your lives.

By many estimates, we will have 8.7 billion connected devices by end of 2017 – a number that is expected to touch 26.3 billion by 2020. Global IP traffic will pass 2.3 Zettabyte in 2020 up from 1.1 Zettabyte in 2016, growing at 20% CAGR. Busy hour internet traffic will increase by a factor of 4.6 between 2015 and 2020 growing at 46% CAGR. All these factors will effect a multifold increase in EMF and wireless radiation. Infact, radiation generated by such intensive computing environments will produce high degree of stress on biological and computing systems.

Sample the following real life scenarios

1. The pervasive smart home and smart city concept will increase the ambient EMF that we are exposed. It may so be that the EMF quantum would be low, but persistent exposure would be instrumental in increasing immune system related disorders.
2. While there are compliances around EMF shielding of coimputing systems, Electro-Magnetic interferences could be a key reason for cloud service disruption at data centres and warehouses. An estimated 10% of failure modes in data centre environments are unspecified and expected to be EMF related interferences.
3. Unborn children, kids, toddlers are the highest vulnerabality groups for EMF and wireless radiation. A constant ambient noise could increases cases of Autism spectral disorder.
4. As a generation, we are exposed to 10,000 – 10,00,000 times more EMF radiation than our grand parents. With the advent of IOT, Smart City projects, this radiation expsoure multiple could well become a 100X todays thresholds and peak expsoures.
5. Insurance majors around the world acknowledge the risks associated with persistent – mid level radiation expsoures, but donot feature them in the premium covers. One wayu or the other, the cost of health care which is altready mounting under different pollution heads will also have a EMF incremental.
6. Another key risk is the devices that we carry. While there are no established researches, our small experiments show that wearables such as activity tracker have a 4X wireless-radiation threshold in constant state. We expect the number of devices that we carry on our body and which mate with computing systems to increase in the near future.

Technology advances are a part of the human history – but the current set of technologies and the problem trends portend the befalling of a health risks of epidemic scale with the advent of ubiquitous computing. Currently awarneness of the risks and the solutions around the wireless and EMF radiation deluge is still at nascence. We hope that good sense prevails. We ceratinly donot see the large corporations or governments telling you the truth around the coming age of Electro-smog.


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