Posting in Cities
If we put smart dust in the environment, the tiny sensors could track everything in real-time. It just might be what we need to measure the Earth's vital signs to help us live more efficiently.
“It's exciting. It's been a long time coming,” Pister, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, told CNN News. “I coined the phrase 14 years ago. So smart dust has taken a while, but it's finally here."
It's here, but in a bigger and more controlled way. Enter HP Lab's Central Nervous System for Earth (CeNSE), a plan to send out a trillion sensors around the globe.
The small matchbook sized monitors will have sensors that are similar to what is in the iPhone but are much more powerful. After the smart dust is packaged with a protecting layer, it's not exactly the size of a dust particle. It's more like the size of a VHS tape.
In a couple years, HP will work with Royal Dutch Shell to install 1 million of the smart dust sensors to measure rock vibrations and movements to give them a smarter way to look for oil. Currently, half the oil wells turned out to be dry, so knowing where the abundant places to drill would help.
As more companies jump on the smart dust band wagon, the more we will know about every breath of Earth's vital signs and be able to predict its environmental hiccups. Knowing more about the natural world and being able to record them in detail will help us live smarter and more efficiently.
As the health of our Earth is put on life support, these wireless sensor networks give scientists more understanding about uncontrollable events like volcanic eruptions (as we know how frustrating that can be!).
Smart dust can fill in where microscopes and telescopes can't: The dust motes can measure light, wind, rainfall, temperature, humidity, and other details about the environment.
The applications appear limitless. If farmers had smart dust on their land, they could save money and improve their yields. It could help monitor household appliances to save energy and monitor efficiency. It can be the ultimate traffic manager if deployed in congested urban areas.
So far, the use of the sensors has been fragmented, put in place in farms, factories, and bridges to understand how these systems operate. As the small wireless microelectromechanical sensors (MEMS) measure light, vibrations, and temperature, the intimate details about the environment will begin to unfold.
The wireless devices would check to see if ecosystems are healthy, detect earthquakes more rapidly, predict traffic patterns and monitor energy use. The idea is that accidents could be prevented and energy could be saved if people knew more about the world in real time, instead of when workers check on these issues only occasionally.
Scientists must be drooling: The chance to engage in long-time monitoring of temporal, climate, or human impact will change how we understand and respond to the natural world in real-time. Here are some ways that sensors are making us smarter:
- EarthScope: 3,000 stations will unveil the mysteries of earthquakes, volcanoes, and fault systems. Several thousand sensors will be mobile and powered by sun or wind and will make its way across the U.S. over time.
- RiverNet: Solar powered sensor network set up to monitor the Hudson River to track fertilizer runoff and the entrance of pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls. Real-time monitoring of water bodies will help scientists deal with water shortages and climate change.
- Streetline: San Francisco and Los Angeles plan on installing sensors in parking spaces to help ease parking woes. The idea is to match people up to parking spaces.
- Spacecraft-on-a-chip: The tiny sensors could give early warnings of solar storms. This was so aptly inspired by the launch of Sputnik in 1957.
The time is right to deploy sensors around the world, as the size of sensors and the cost have reached a "tipping point." Fast Company reports:
Unlike IBM, which has positioned itself as primarily a smarter city integrator, or Cisco, which has teamed up with 3M and United Technologies to handle nitty-gritty tasks while it focuses on the network, HP appears determined to fulfill its CeNSE vision from soup-to-nuts. The Shell deal not only includes sensors designed by HP Labs and fabricated by its printing group, but also HP’s own networking, storage, servers, and software products, overseen by consultants from its Enterprise Services arm (formerly EDS). "The whole world of IT is shifting into a world of plants, pipettes, and forests, and not just the back office," said Jeff Wacker, the leader of services innovation at HP and the head of its efforts to commercialize CeNSE.
Because sensors can also pick up sound and can be equipped with cameras, critics fear people will reject it and see it as an invasion of their privacy. But the information isn't uploaded on the Real World Web the way the Internet is wired, the data would be ushered directly to the company or organization collecting it. As the world spirals into a crisis more severe than the banking one, privacy concerns seem trivial.
There are some hurdles that remain: The smart dust needs to either be powered by battery or could be solar powered. Plus, we should use the sensors already out in the world. Why not use mobile phones? Phones are sensors in disguise: They have accelerometers, monitors, location, and cameras. Imagine what 5 billion mobile phone users could collect.
Now given the chance, would you opt into this smart dust club?
As the Read World Web grows and matures, we will live smarter.
Image: flickr/ samsungzone
May 6, 2010
Yes, the very phrase "As the world spirals into a crisis more severe than the banking one" proves the shady agenda of this project. The banking crisis is obviously THE crisis. It was created intentionally to drive nations into poverty. The more poor, scared and desperate they are , the easier they are to manipulate and the more willing to accept draconian Global Government and oppressive laws. Let's get one thing straight, man-made global warming is a scam. The Earth has been warming steadily for 300 years, well before humans could've had any impact, and cooled for the past 8 years. As the climate has been steadily warming naturally, independent of human influence, then of course the hottest days are going to be at the end of the record!!! So claiming the hottest days/years being evidence of AGW is a fallacy. The medieval Warm period was warmer than today, Global ice levels are normal and sea levels have not risen significantly for 60 years. Also climate models and IPCC predictions vastly exaggerate warming, they overstate CO2 levels, and exaggerate climate sensitivity forcing equations for CO2. They propose a fictional runaway feedback effect as the CO2 heats up the oceans which then release more CO2 into the atmosphere in a vicious circle. While this feedback does happen to a certain extent, not only is CO2 a lesser greenhouse gas in terms of contribution, the greenhouse effect is counterbalanced by other factors. For instance, the climate models vastly exaggerate upper tropospheric water vapour leading to understated Outgoing Longwave Radiation, and thus vastly exaggerating warming. In reality, Increased cumulonimbic convection and humidity creates more return flow subsidence and radiative mass sinking, leading to less upper tropospheric water vapour. This leads to more OLR escaping and thus less warming. The models also ignore or understate low level clouds resulting from increased humidity that reflects radiation back to space and cools the planet. The mid tropospheric hotspot that should be there according to the IPCCs greenhouse gas warming contribution projections is NOT there. Lindzen (you might have heard of him, the top climate scientist in the world) has studied the climate for 40 years and has plotted the satellite data that shows that Outgoing radiation goes UP with surface warming, NOT down as the IPCC suggests. Sea acidification is also complete rubbish as even if all the CO2 in the atmosphere was dissolved in water it would not even come close to approaching a neutral PH, let alone acid. Corals, crustaceans and other life forms flourish with more CO2. Add to that all the data tampering and manipulation, for example the Darwin tampering, the elimination of weather stations from higher altitudes, the attempted removal of the mediaeval warming period, and the bullying of scientists who didn't support the AGW scam, in other words the bullying of scientists with a least a shred of conscience and morality and you have a 100% certainty that AGW is a scam. So the climate is beyond our control....or is it?!!! HAARP (High frequency Active Auroral Research Project) probes the ionosphere, bombarding it with high frequency radiowaves, this heats it up lifting the heated area like a bubble, causing convection (extreme weather) and also diverting the jetstream that carries the Earth's atmospheric water, changing rainfall. Also the radiation that is reflected back down is Extremely Low Frequency, this resonates in the Earth's crust and if there's pressure built up in a fault line, an Earthquake ensues. Think of the recent geopolitical coincidences. China is now a threat - earthquake; Iceland has become a beacon for truth and passing laws to foster whistleblowers and freedom of speech - Volcano; Haiti has recently discovered massive oil reserves and the US military/emergency services happened to be performing drills nearby when.......Earthquake. People waking up....they censor the internet. With the complete ownership of mainstream science by corrupt New World Order-owned Governments, it is unlikely that 'smart dust' won't be used against us
Because sensors can also pick up sound and can be equipped with cameras, critics fear people will reject it and see it as an invasion of their privacy. But the information isn't uploaded on the Real World Web the way the Internet is wired, the data would be ushered directly to the company or organization collecting it. written by a truly optimistic soul. Of course the company collecting the information would only use it in responsible ways. Speak right into the flower, comrade. Couple these puppies with google image search and you could keep track of everyone on the planet. But who'd want to?
I think HP is a champion of earth and humanity with the Central Nervous System for Earth concept. Those who wold use something similar contrary to the interest of earth and citizens wont tell you or ask for your permission. You are less than sheep, less value than slaves. You should know that privacy and fairness don't exist except as words in a vocabulary. You shouldn't not be concerned that this could be used to invade your privacy, it has and is. You have no say in the process. Excess humans as defined by political ideology are taken to death camps where they are worked until death by starvation and then disposed of by consideration of lowest cost most convent method.That is the status of the world in general . Now this is a technology that can help people, a human thing and you fear it? Fear is rational but to misplace that fear is not rational. We are so far down the path its better to look for the good than fear it by irrational assumption. I think the sheep have been managed fine thank you, much better off than the mere humans. Oh yes the chips for people they are not smart dust just dumb rf chips right now but who knows the people that want humanity chipped might like your idea however do not think that human a life is valued higher than a sheep history proves this even if rhetoric debates it. Americans torture prisoners deny human rights and threaten to kill the victims children. Anything can happen in this world and the words of politicians are intended to secure reelection and nothing else, the acts of these men reflect their integrity or lack thereof. The worst has already happened your rulers are without morals or limits. So quit belly aching about the fact that Americans soon will be as poor as Mexicans it will stop the illegal immigration problem don't you think? You should know what the banking crisis was about even if the media wont tell you hmmm?
Regardless of recessions and environmental disasters I'll still take my privacy seriously. Are you suggesting with this paragraph... "Because sensors can also pick up sound and can be equipped with cameras, critics fear people will reject it and see it as an invasion of their privacy. But the information isn?t uploaded on the Real World Web the way the Internet is wired, the data would be ushered directly to the company or organization collecting it. As the world spirals into a crisis more severe than the banking one, privacy concerns seem trivial." ...that we should feel better about private corporations spying on us than the government? I don't know who to trust less. While the positive applications are inspiring the negative ones are always disconcerting.
Three things:  The 'banking crisis' was completely contrived, i.e., made to happen, just as was the so-called 'Great Depression.' It was contrived to set OTHER plans in motion.  For writers such as yourself to make the assertions you have, you're either completely uninformed about the real nature of what you write about, or you're a paid political hack. Only you know which.  Just any plan put forth by whatever multinational organization always has a 'human face' in order to sell it. The REAL plans lay out-of-sight and are undiscussed, awaiting to spring forth with vengeance when the time is ripe. Finally, why is do you suppose, that the multinationals want the lot of humanity chipped for ID purposes? I'll tell you why: What better way to manage the sheep?
I wonder if thats an infringement intention over other countries territories. I would rather call them smart pollution. Keep it to your own country or atleast get permission from the countries where you'll spread it. Progress of science must not be hindered but ethics MUST be followed!!!
Just ask the German people if Aktion T4 was really justified by the end of saving money and improving society. Or we could ask if the loss of rights of the past administration were justified by the minimal improvements in anti-terrorism efforts (I was generally pro-dubya, but not on this issue). What abuses will be foisted on us and our children justified on the questionable assumption that we have a spiraling crisis (based on limited data interpreted by dishonest researchers and hyped by politicians with a vested pecuniary interest). In the end, it serves the ends of autocrats to keep the masses subservient by invoking nameless fears. No, I don't think I'll opt in to the smart dust club.
Whatever the daydreams of the inventor, a trillion videotape sized sensors will have a LARGE environmental impact. So instead of solving problems, it is quite likely that the tons of tin, copper and silver, aluminum, gallium, arsenic, silicon and boron will simply create a NEW problem of staggering proportions. Think 3 trillion WII boxes and you get the idea.
"Because sensors can also pick up sound and can be equipped with cameras, critics fear people will reject it and see it as an invasion of their privacy. But the information isn?t uploaded on the Real World Web the way the Internet is wired, the data would be ushered directly to the company or organization collecting it. As the world spirals into a crisis more severe than the banking one, privacy concerns seem trivial." Among the issues irt these sensors being unwittingly unleashed on an unsuspecting people and environment, there are indeed ecosystem effects and biological hazards to consider. However, that highlighted paragraph substantiates very grave issues that threaten citizens personal rights as well as the dangerous philosophy frequently espoused by the writer suggesting technological growth and implementation serves its own purpose before it should serve the needs and good of humankind. A habitual penchant for biased conjectures without considering alternative sides of an issue can be troubling in a science reporter. How can you so baselessly compromise the sanctity of individual's right to privacy as well as their safety while allowing some unknown entity to unleash whatever may be in these nanobots or to collect whatever information they want without any liabilty or reporting requirement? The monitoring really needs to be transparent and placed upon the specific entities that are identified as threats, have created frequent upsets and resposnible for either environmental or social instability. Such as the corporate and government collusion that has created this irresponsible and unsustainable capitalistic economic machine that is frequently at fault for virtually all of the world's crises, at least, those that have been synthetic don't you think? It is not very difficult to indicate what has happened when the anti-podal relationship between guardian and commerce are either intermingled or compromised - for example, Deep Horizon is the latest disaster while the military industrial complex keeping us in perpetual conflict is the most egregious and longest lasting problem wasting resources, creating massive devestation, and widespread tragedy as well as threatening our individual well-being. Nobody, without a power trip or personal interest among other issues, should adamantly and consistently suggest that technology should be unleashed upon the population without thorough consideration of rights, purpose, effects, and controls. This isn't the only article from "Smart Planet" that concerns me because this one invades privacy while using exclusive controls and selective data gathering too. http://www.smartplanet.com/business/blog/smart-takes/ibm-splash-project-simulates-cause-and-effect-to- improve-healthcare/6615/
I think this is a really neat idea. :) It has lots of potential for good. However, "As the world spirals into a crisis more severe than the banking one, privacy concerns seem trivial." This is exactly what gets critics up in arms. Really? That seems ridiculously dramatic to say, and in my mind, can only serve to perpetuate a crisis of imaginary magnitude.... If this is going to be accepted by critics, then things like THAT, cannot be said because they are ridiculous.
Bingo. You and I will be dead, and Boonsri will be our age some day wondering why her children are embracing the dna-splicing nanobots everyone seems to be ingesting with abandon... The agenda knows one important thing: generations are not replace all at once. If we were, like locusts for eg, we would have to obtain discernment en masse with each subsequent one. When I taught a computer science class I would show the students how easy it is to use existing internet technology (at the time, a decade ago) to go so far as to enable web cams and microphones remotely to spy on people at home. Once lights went off, I would say "if a schmoo like me can imagine (whatever evil "this") you can BET THE FARM somebody is already out there doing it." Human nature, the most well understood science there is. A 10,000 year old science... shamans, priests, kings, dictators and now lawyers. Keepers of the gates of the simple truth.
What will this do to bees and bats and migrating birds? God help us......As for body chemistry, I will eat plenty of baked beans and make sure Big Brother senses the result......
Well jim_d that is such a small price to pay for saving the plant, no? According to Boonsri it is. That is why people of Boonsri's generation can be so easily enslaved! They seem to live in this utopian world were technology can only server man in a good way without any connection to understanding mans past behaviour when technology was and still is employed in a manner that killed or suppressed social justice demanded form governments or multinational cooperation?s. They seem to be taught to only consider or accept as truth the cooperation?s marketing perspective of the positive potential of what any given technology can deliver yet which man made technology has been so obtrusively pure?
Won't be long before "big brother" otherwise known as big gov't will find a way to use this technology to monitor us all, and in ways we won't like. Be ever vigilant!!
I wrote a science fiction short story about 12 years ago in which this very technology was a key antagonist. My 'smart dust' also had the capability to analyze body chemistry to determine classes of thoughts people had recently harbored. The protagonist was slated for extermination for having patented thoughts without permission. If a technology has an unsavory use, you can bet someone is already using by the time you ever hear about it.
Solar energy, microwave, thermal difference, mechanical (wave motion or other), a battery could last for years. A size of a vhs tape is significant bloat. No need of cell towers they use a grid network.
Very interesting application of tech. You're right, how are those sensors going to be powered long-term? What happens to them when they die or are decommissioned? Millions of VHS sized pieces of e-waste. I think crowd-sourcing with cell phones is a better way to go about it. And Boonsri - you're gorgeous ;)