The author could not resist the analogy here. In my recent research on emerging technology for my client I came across the subject of “Smart Dust.” I had reviewed the technology one time before but put it in the “10-year plus” category.
Upon further reading and research it became clear that this is one of those technologies that is truly at an “emerging” stage. Even though the concept has been around since the 90s it is just now gaining broader corporate attention.
To put this technology in very simple terms, it is a computer the size of one Pig-Pen dust spot above.
Here is another image below:
In that little dot is a microelectromechanical system that has memory and transmit capability. Researchers are working on getting this compute capability down to 1 cubic-millimeter or micro-motes.
This technology has already been targeted for many areas of research and use like:
- Neural dust for the brain to assist with prosthetics
- Sensor clouds that identify airborne chemicals on the battlefield
- Environmental sensory needs for space travel
- Ultra large scale computing needs like AI and Internet of Everything
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Although the technology has a long way to go before we will see broad scale utilization I believe it will deliver astounding results in the future. This is a classic example of how today’s emerging technology is the foundation of tomorrow’s daily life. Maybe we will each have our own private “Smart Dust Cloud” like Pig-Pen ?
Who knew Pig-Pen was such a technologist !
Thinking it Through !
Featured image source.