sensors Archives


In 2010 I wrote a piece of science fiction. It was published in an academic book, so it came out in 2013 as “e South Asia: A social science fiction,” in South Asia in 2060: Envisioning regional futures, eds. Najam, A. & Yusuf, M., chapter 26.

Meta data is not the only problem

Posted on October 4, 2013  /  0 Comments

For those who worry about their privacy being harmed by transaction generated data, here’s more to worry about: sensors in the sky. These systems generate so much data that they do require big-data analysis. Just as important, he shepherded research and development of new kinds of satellites that made digital pictures of objects on the ground as small as five inches across and then transmitted the images to earth for analysis almost instantly. The aerial reconnaissance programs, most done in conjunction with the Air Force, were highly classified, and many remain so. In a 1967 speech that he asked not be quoted, President Lyndon B.

The Internet of cows

Posted on October 3, 2012  /  0 Comments

Most people have heard of the Internet of things, where devices such as refrigerators would communicate with other devices or with people. But this is about sensors embedded in cows talking to the mobile phone of the farmer. When Christian Oesch was a boy on his family’s hog farm, cellphones were a thing of the future. Now, Mr. Oesch tends a herd of dairy cattle and carries a smartphone wherever he goes.
A fascinating overview of where ubiquitous computing is headed in the Economist: In their book Messrs Bell and Gemmell predict that people with chronic ailments will one day have sensors embedded directly in their bodies that can transmit data about their vital signs wirelessly to other devices such as their phones. This forecast, which would give a new spin to the slogan “Intel Inside”, may seem far-fetched, yet some cardiac devices are already equipped with wireless connectivity that allows them to send data to doctors. And gadgets such as a bathroom scale made by Withings, a French company, can transmit a person’s weight to a digital health-log on a computer or smartphone. Rather than have sensors lodged inside their bodies, many people may prefer to have them woven into their clothing, or placed next to rather than under their skin. Some venture capitalists such as Mr Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz believe that “wearable computing” will be the next big thing in personal technology, though the companies that have set their sights on this area face a difficult task.
We first explored the idea of embedding sensors in dams so there would be better information about potential failures back in 2005 in the course of our dam safety research project. We were talking about relatively unproven RFID or electronic dust systems back then. Today it’s a proven technology, according to the NYT. Traditionally, most systems that monitor structures’ responses to earthquakes or strong winds have been wired ones. But wireless alerts may one day be an alternative.