What is the purpose of a gauge or an instrument? When does a process need to be monitored in a way that can be measured? Prior to the industrial revolution, gauges and mechanical instrumentation were almost unheard of. That changed with the introduction of machines that performed functions that had previously been done through manpower. As manufacturing became more and more automated, there had to be ways of ensuring that these large and complex machines were operating properly. Early factories and manufacturing facilities had to learn the hard way that a machine that is not being properly monitored can be both dangerous and inefficient. Furthermore, many large-scale operations require accurate measurements in order for their processes to be achieved successfully. As automation and technology continue to develop, instrumentation continues to develop in order to accommodate it. How might the future of instrumentation shape up? Based on trends of today, there are some predictions that can be made.