Week 11: Smart Dust

In this week’s lecture, it’s all about the Internet of Things! (IoT)

IoT is defined as “the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data.”

Prof. Abel showed us many examples of IoT in class, such as the Driverless car and the Smart farming system. Today, however, I want to talk about another example – the Smart Dust.

Smart Dust is a system of many tiny microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) such as sensors, robots, or other devices. These “motes” are the size of a grain of sand and can be used in many areas, mainly medical, environmental, industrial and military.

In the medical field, Smart Dust can diagnose and cure diseases in real-life. For instance, it can detect issues inside the body or brain (i.e. Blood clots, Cancer cells) and eradicate it early.

In the environmental aspect, the Smart Dust is released into the environment and this helps:

  • Detect weather conditions
  • Spot fires and earthquakes
  • Adjust the climate conditions in an office building
  • Monitor road conditions

In the industrial aspect, Smart Dust allows companies to observe the state of the building, factory, plants and/or farms in real-time. This ultimately helps to improve safety, efficiency and compliance which reduces system and infrastructure costs. As a result productivity increases.

For instance, a F&B store can utilize Smart Dust to monitor their food stores. If it is running low, the dust immediately detects it and places order for the new batches of ingredients.

Smart Dust can also be used as military intelligence. We can use it for surveillance and security. For instance, to detect vibrations, sound and temperature change or to monitor real-time data.

But with all its benefits, the Smart Dust is bound to come with disadvantages. Since the Smart Dust’s reach is widespread, people’s data could be collected without their consent. This gives rise to the issue of privacy. Many people may get the “Big Brother feeling” where they feel as if they are being watched 24/7. One way to tackle this problem would be to create an external governmental body to oversee the operations of this technology.

With this, I hope you’ve gotten a good insight into this IoT. When Web 3.0 is fully established, we will see more IoTs coming into play.