Companies Test Prototype "Smart Dust" Wireless-Sensor Net

from the funky dept

dsg writes in with a link to the latest happenings in “smart dust”. We first mentioned smart dust all the way back in 1999 when we joked about the coming dust age. Now, however, it seems that the idea is certainly moving forward, and prototypes are being tested. The idea is that these tiny, tiny wireless sensors can be littered all over the place (specifically on a battlefield) where they can secretly communicate with each other, and feed information back to the other side. The team working on this smart dust wrote an operating system and a database system for the mini-sensors called TinyOS and TinyDB (nothing, if not descriptive) and released them as open source, so that plenty of other uses are being experimented with – from enivornmental monitoring to healthcare monitoring. The idea and potential for having such tiny wireless sensors that can be used for so many different applications is fascinating. However, the article doesn’t mention that there’s also (clearly) the potential for misuse. With all the questions being asked lately about eroding privacy protection, it would seem that smart dust also has the potential to invade people’s privacy without them realizing it.

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