Sensor

Big Brother? Homes, cities to watch, interact with you

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: March 31, 2012   View Article

Our homes and cities may soon be filled with sensors and tiny, energy-sipping computers that watch our every move in order, we hope, to enrich our lives and lower our impact on the environment, according to researchers working in the field of “ambient intelligence.”

While there’s a creepy Big Brother element to our houses and cities watching, learning, and interacting with our every move, the smart homes and cities of the future are really just the next frontier in our already sensor-rich and hyper-connected world.

Tiny sensors that measure amplitude are big step

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: February 8, 2012   View Article

Anyone who watched the recent X-Games coverage heard commentators obsess about “amplitude” — how high snowboarders such as Shaun White soar above the lip of the superpipe to perform aerial tricks.

Scientists more concerned with using vibrating sensors to detect harmful chemicals in the air we breathe and food we eat than White’s frontside double cork 1260 share the love for amplitude.

Printable sensors detect bombs

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: November 2, 2011   View Article

If there’s a suspicious package on the doorstep and you want to know if it’s a bomb, you may soon be able to print out a sensor that can do just that.

The ability to make bomb-detecting sensors with inkjet printer technology could also benefit soldiers on the lookout for roadside bombs and aid agencies working in war-torn countries.

Graphene-coated sensors to strike oil?

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: July 20, 2011   View Article

Tiny sensors coated with the wonder-material graphene and powered by flowing water could expedite the discovery of oil and natural gas reserves, according to university researchers supported by the energy industry.

The idea is to plop the sensors into the water injected down exploration wells where they can then move sideways through cracks and crevices in the Earth in search of hydrocarbons. The electricity generated by the flow of water would allow the sensors to relay their findings to the surface.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach