Sensing things around us

For a while there has been talk about distributed sensors. Planting tiny sensors all around to get an idea about what might be going on. Going on with the Earth, maybe predicting earthquakes and things like that. Why distributed? Because this way you don't take a chance on planing one sensor and then picking the wrong spot. HP has taken a step toward distributed sensing by developing the CeNSE network and they are using it to help find oil. These tiny microelectromechanical sensors (MEMS) can detect vibrations. Now they are pretty big but someday scientists hope to make them the size of a pin head.  If you install a few million or billion you can get an idea of what is going on over a large area. The challenge is powering them and then collecting all of the data. But someday they will be installed in everything like buildings, bridges, roads and tell us all about how these things are doing and sensing lots of different things.

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