Bruce Sterling on Earth-Friendly Pervasive Computing
In 2007 the computer gave up taking over the world. Instead the world took over the computer. The Internet became a wholly owned subset of Reality 2.0. When the actual world invades the virtual world, it scatters the computer into tiny physical pieces, some no bigger than dust. “Intelligent printing,” another modern darling, is semiconductor ink sprayed on cardboard. There’s never been a humbler, cheaper “computer.”
Sterling envisions a world in which the chips that drive it are powered by tiny amounts of ambient energy -- nearly any form of heat or light will do. Such chips would have such low power requirements that they wouldn't need a dedicated power source, and would use up hardly any natural resources.