Smart Dew Sensor Monitoring
Smart Dew sensors as small as dewdrops may provide a new and more cost-effective way to secure large areas. Prof. Yoram Shapira and his Tel Aviv University Faculty of Engineering team put a controller chip and an RF transmitter/receiver in each one so they can be networked together.
(Smart Dew size comparison)
"We've created a generic system that has no scale limitations," says Prof. Shapira. "Most people could never afford the manpower to guard such large properties. Instead, we've created this Smart Dew to do the work. It's invisible to an intruder, and can provide an alarm that someone has entered the premises."
Each unit can detect an intruder within a fifty meter radius; Smart Dew can be equipped with magnetic sensors to detect cars or microphones to detect sound. At an anticipated cost of just 25 cents per unit, it creates a security perimeter at a fraction of the usual cost.
SF fans may be reminded of the dog pod grid consisting of innumerable tiny aerostat monitors from Neal Stephenson's 1995 novel The Diamond Age
These pods were programmed to hang in space in a hexagonal grid pattern about ten centimeters apart near the ground (close enough to stop a dog but not a cat, hence "dog pods") and spaced wider as they got higher.
Even earlier, science fiction fans of the Fifties were treated to an advance look at this idea in The Invincible, by Stanislaw Lem. How could a black cloud be made of ... iron?
"What is the nature of this cloud? What is your opinion?" he asked without any introductory remarks.
"It is made up of tiny metal particles. A remote-controlled emulsion, as it were, with uniform center," answered Jazon...
It could be that these microorganisms themselves form such a center when they combine in a certain manner - a kind of inanimate brain. They exist in loose swarms, which permits them to be constantly exposed to the sunlight, or even to chase after thunderclouds, for they probably obtain energy from these atmospheric discharges."
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 3/31/2009)
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