Thursday, June 03, 2004

(Wireless) Sensor Networks

There are sensors in just about everything: from biomedical devices to bridges. The in-style thing right now is Wireless Sensor Networks. After all, if we can all be wireless with tiny little devices, why can't the sensors. An easy way to see how mainstream this is is to scan the shelves of your local science library. The covers of two journals this month feature sensor network article(s):
Communications of the ACM, v47 n6 (June 2004). (link for subscribers)
Scientific American, v290 n6 (June 2004).(free preview, click here if you have Academic Search Premier).
These networks have been enabled by the miniaturization of the sensor and communications technologies, decreased power consumption, increased durability, and decreased cost.
Privacy activists worry that Big Brother will look more like the little computers in Crichton's Prey(Harper Collins, 2002). The "motes" are very simple, how do you guarantee they only tell you what they are sensing, not anyone with a receiver?
(updated to correct typos)

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