For many inventions and innovations, the key is to address a certain problem in a novel way, or in a way that is different from past methods which would make whatever process they are improving more efficient or less costly.
In this regard, engineers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison have devised a thin piece of glass that has the ability to do what cameras, sensors, and deep neural networks do but in a more compact material which they call a "smart" glass.
Embedding artificial intelligence inside inert objects is a concept that, at first glance, seems like something out of science fiction. However, it’s an advance that could open new frontiers for low-power electronics.
Now, artificial intelligence gobbles up substantial computational resources (and battery life) every time you glance at your phone to unlock it with face ID. In the future, one piece of glass could recognize your face without using any power at all.
(Image credit: Sam Million Weaver)