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Raleigh News & Observer: Putting Brains in Dust

Oct 09, 2003, 11:00 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paul Gilster)

"Today when we think about small devices, we usually picture cell phones or hand-held computers. But coming down the road, and soon, are chips no bigger than grains of sand. We'll use them in vast numbers to lay down networks that can monitor everything from weather patterns to land use. They'll save us money, too, by tracking how buildings allocate energy and helping us reduce power consumption.

"Kris Pister, who runs a company dedicated to making this a reality, was only joking when he tagged the technology 'smart dust.' It was a take on other industry coinages such as 'smart houses,' the idea being that computerizing something ordinary allows us to do extraordinary things with it. But the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, which funded Pister's work at the University of California, Berkeley, took it seriously..."

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