FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Invasion of the Motes

"Motes" are wireless RFID sensors that can take all kinds of measurements and report back to a centralized system. Networked, they form "sensor nets" that can provide comprehensive, real-time data on nearly any environment. They're powerful, inexpensive, can last for years unattended... and everybody, it seems, wants them.

British Petroleum, for example, is deploying sensor networks to monitor its ships and plants worldwide. HP is experimenting with motes to measure inventory and the flow of goods. NASA, Motorola, Fujitsu, GE, Seimens and Boeing are among the organizations embracing "multisensor fusion" technology for anytime, anywhere monitoring.

The number of wireless sensors in use could rise from 200,000 today to 100 million by 2008. All together, they will generate an unprecendented volume of data that could spawn an upsurge in computer processing and storage to manage and analyze it all, as well as interface engines for feeding the data into legacy systems.

Sources: Information Week, Roland Piquepaille's Tech Trends