Emerging Area: Physical Digital Integration



  • “Organizing the world’s information and creating interfaces with Physical Objects so that Objects can use information with the goal of making life better for humans.”
  • “Make the physical world come alive!”

Academic Disciplines

  • Computer Science 
  • Engineering & Applied Physics 

Driving forces

  • Cheap computing power and storage.
  • Ubiquitous Network.
  • Cheap sensors.
  • Flexible Electronics.
  • Advanced Artificial Intelligence. Machine Learning. Big Data.
  • DIY tools. Open source software. Open hardware platforms.


What is it like

  • All devices would contain microprocessors with network connection. 
  • Adaptable. flexible systems.
  • Putting intelligence into everything.
  • Automation.
  • Objects aware of their Physical World utilizing information from the Digital World.
  • Objects communicating with each other through Network for getting things done. 

Application Areas

  • Manufacturing
  • 3D Printing
    • Tissue Printing
  • Fab Lab
  • Automation
  • Smart Homes (e.g., Nest devices)
  • Smart Cities. Smart efficient infrastructures.
  • Sensor Networks
  • Diagnostic systems


Some other early movers with focus on Physical Digital Integration

  • New Communication Protocols.
  • Knowledge Representations that Objects can process and understand.
  • Security.
  • More intuitive interfaces.

Notable People



At its limit


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