Kris Pister a researcher from the 1990’s had a dream that no one of his time thought could turn into reality. His dream was simple, scatter sensor like devices just like dust over the earth. These sensors were thought of not being anything bigger than the size of a grain of rice. He called these no bigger than a grain of rice particles “Smart Dust.
These particles would have the ability to monitor everything right from wireless radios, sensing equipment wireless radios and a lot more. All this because of simple computing power, you would have information at your finger tips like information on cities, information on people and even their natural environment.
This revolutionary idea is no longer a dream, infact after all these years we now see it coming to reality. One mans vision is another man’s invention that’s what we would like to call it.
Pister who is now a computing professor and teaching at the University of California, Berkeley seems to be very thrilled about his idea coming to life. Although it was 14 years ago that he had dreamt if this technological phase, it is finally being devised.
Hewlett-Packard had made an announcement a few days ago, that it was working on a new project that they call “Central Nervous System for the Earth.” The company has planned it big and has mentioned that it would look at computing trillion sensors that would be scattered in every part of the planet.
The devices that HP would create will not only check our ecosystems regularly but would also help in knowing beforehand if there is any possibility of natural disasters occurring. The plan is huge, and its use is seamless, the possibilities are endless as well. HP says that the particles will also help in reducing the accident rates worldwide.
The move will begin around two years later; this was mentioned by the senior research Pete Hartwell at the HP lab in Palo Alto. The company has already teamed up with Royal Dutch Shell so that it can go ahead and install about 1 million of those minute monitoring particles. This move will help in oil exploration simply by checking the movement and vibrations in rocks. The sensors will work across an area that spans 6sq miles.
The sensors that HP has already manufactured are around the size of a VHS tape, and that is after all the sensors are put into a box so as to protect it. These sensors although the size of a matchbox are 1,000 times powerful than what you have in your Smartphone’s!
However the idea of Smart Dust may still take a while to make its appearance. You have to give technology time to come up with ways and plans so that sensors are no bigger than a few millimetres. Researches at Berkeley are working endlessly at this possibility of creating smart dust that can be sprinkled casually around the surface of the earth. It might take us a while before we come to that phase of technology.