Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by WilHarris, 17 Jul 2006.
same as... although thats pretty impressive....
There was an article about this in PCPro about two years ago - you could buy three 'grains' for $50. They had batteries, transmitters/recievers and a sensor each. The military had managed to make a system where you spray them over a battlefield (something like 1 per square metre) and then they can detect troops/vehicles etc. using thermal and magnetic effects. The devices then passed on their data to each other, and a bloke anywhere on the battlefield can then see what's going on where! Pretty cool.
thats very clever if u think of the schematics that would need to go into it.
So, not really the same at all, then. Your story, while cool, refers to a matrix of self-powered sensors with radio communication capability. HP's "wireless rice" don't have sensors, aren't self-powered, aren't designed to operate as a matrix, and have a much shorter range radio capability. They are incredibly small, presumably can be made waterproof, and need no power source (as, like RFID tags, they are powered by induction via a powered reader). To be honest, these HP things have far more in common with standard RFID tags than with military micro-sensor widgetry.
Reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend regarding future wireless usb drives. Think of them this way, if the storage capacity increases and the data is all comunicated wirelessly, rather than going to buy a 4GB usb drive, you would instead buy (example) 200grams of 'usb' or 'rice' of the 20GB/kg grade 'usb'/'rice'. You then take your bag of storage home, and dump it on your desk or chair or anywhere in range and bam! there is your 4GB of extra storage.
So, later on, the prices are coming down and you realise that you could really do with a bit more storage, so you go and buy a couple more hundred grams of 'usb'/'rice' and when you get home you just pour the new stuff in with the old and all of a sudden you have more space.
Ahhh yes, we can dream all right.
(Of course there would be issues when one wanted two smaller bags of storage and went to split a larger one - files would quite litterally get fragmented and perhaps just a little corrupted )
You would have to have files no bigger than the capacity of one grain. And how would you tell which grain has your NFS Back to the Future savegames?
realy huge RAID array
It's called "Smart Dust". New Scientist did an article on it. Different thing than this, but pretty cool.
Now you're thinking! I disagree with eddtox that files would have to be limited in size to the maximum capacity of one grain: multiple grains could work together to form one big seamless memory cluster (I mean, how do you think individual RAM chips in your PC work?). USB "RAIce" could have protocols to work together as one storage and reconfigure dynamically as more RAIce is added.
So this 'rice' is just a smaller RFID with writeable memory?
Basically, yes. Except that it has higher bandwidth and more memory.
What about putting it in bags?
It would matter if you dropped the one with all your most secret and important documents on!
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