March 28, 2003
Smart Dust Sensors To Be Cheap, Ubiquitous

Smart Dust to allow cheap and widespread distribution of sensor systems.

"Smart dust" devices are tiny wireless microelectromechanical sensors (MEMS) that can detect everything from light to vibrations. Thanks to recent breakthroughs in silicon and fabrication techniques, these "motes" could eventually be the size of a grain of sand, though each would contain sensors, computing circuits, bidirectional wireless communications technology and a power supply. Motes would gather scads of data, run computations and communicate that information using two-way band radio between motes at distances approaching 1,000 feet.

That dust you got on your shoes in the company parking lot may be spy sensors planted by a competitor who wants to listen in on company meetings. Or perhaps the dust in your pet's hair was put there by your ex-spouse who wants to find out who you are spending your time with.

When sensor systems become cheap and as small as dust particles it is going to become much easier to lay out sensor networks for a large variety of reasons. Of course this will inevitably lead to microscopic sensors that are designed to detect other types of sensors.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2003 March 28 02:45 AM  Surveillance Society


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