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See how sand powers your digital lifestyle

We live in interesting times. Technology has evolved so fast and is continuing to evolve so rapidly that it's easy to forget that much of what we enjoy today was simply science fiction only a few years ago. The digital lifestyle is a case in point, and it is powered by a workhorse known as the microchip. Today, the microchip has become almost ubiquitous. You'd find it in laptops, tablets, credit cards, debit cards, mobile phones, SatNavs. and many other electronic devices. There are also an incredible number of embedded chips (or embedded processors, as they are often called) in the everyday things we use - microwaves, washing machines, refrigerators, sprinkler controllers, auto-focus cameras and more.

For the most part, the microchip has fuelled a lifestyle of convenience and a greater freedom of expression than ever before. You can learn nearly anything you want over the internet, speak to someone halfway across the globe, share your photos, register for government services, pay your bills, express your opinions on social media. You can toss your dirty laundry in to wash, push a few buttons, go watch a movie or finish working on that urgent report and come back to collect your garments once they are all clean and fresh. When the weather gets nippy, you can tell your heating to make your home nice and toasty before you even reach home from work. Believe it or not, lifestyles have changed so much that access to the digital world has become so important to self-expression and freedom, that it is now deemed to be a human right. On July 4th, 2016 the UN General Assembly passed a non-binding resolution that classifies access to the internet as a fundamental human right.

But beneath this all, lies the basic technology that converts sand to the microchip. Watch this excellent video made by Intel to see how sand powers our digital lifestyle.

Kiran Pereira