IMS was my first conference when I joined this industry way back in 19xx cough, cough. I was young and optimistic, and I stepped into a conference that was marked by an industry that was frightened and wondering what the future held. Most of the companies were what many now refer to as “the old microwave guys” who really only had military customers. And the military orders were drying up. There were whispers on the show floor of this new “wireless” technology. Many scoffed at the term. Heck, wireless was the word used to describe Marconi’s invention. But what if… what if there really was a commercial market for this fantastic technology that we all loved so much. Could there be a brighter future?
Over the years, I continued to attend what we called MTT and then the IMS shows. And, new technologies with odd names followed in the tradition of the whisper of “wireless.” This time, though, they were met with an expectation of success rather than with the hope of a life preserver. They included, RFID, Bluetooth, and ZigBee. I can still see the look of horror on the face of the man in a booth who was happily explaining to me how RFID chips could be inserted into livestock to track them. I looked up, probably contorted my face a bit, and asked, “Hmmm. I wonder how long it will be before they start inserting them in infants at birth.”
The fun of attending the IMS conference is seeing what others are doing with RF/microwave technology and how peers are pushing the envelope (or tracking it!). IMS is rich in exhibitors as well as a deep technical program and applications seminars. The opportunities for contagious enthusiasm and networking are impressive. We’ve come a long way from the bleak faces of yesteryear, before the tide turned and RF/microwave became the enabler of a vast and expanding commercial market. My hearty congratulations to the vanguard who brought RF to the commercial marketplace. And, my continued respect for those who have developed incredibly smart and rugged products that continue to serve the military market. I look forward to seeing what you all have in store for us this year.
Janine Sullivan Love