[Tech] [Ubicomp] How Smart Dust works

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/mote2.htm

A nice, basic explanation of Smart Dust motes from HowStuffWorks.


You could attach motes to the water meters or power meters in a neighborhood. The motes would log power and water consumption for a customer. When a truck drives by, the motes get a signal from the truck and they send their data. This would allow a person to read all the meters in a neighborhood very easily, simply by driving down the street.

...

Imagine a suburban neighborhood or an apartment complex with motes that monitor the water and power meters (as described in the previous section). Since all of the meters (and motes) in a typical neighborhood are within 100 feet (30 meters) of each other, the attached motes could form an ad hoc network amongst themselves. At one end of the neighborhood is a super-mote with a network connection or a cell-phone link. In this imagined neighborhood, someone doesn't have to drive a truck through the neighborhood each month to read the individual water or power meters -- the motes pass the data along from one to another, and the super-mote transmits it. Measurement can occur hourly or daily if desired.

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