Sensors are becoming critical to maximizing energy consumption in data centers, but IBM feels that it can spread the love to other areas. Computerworld’s Patrick Thibodeau writes:
IBM isn’t building sensors, but it expects to see wide adoption of sensor technology that can cover an office complex or a city like a blanket. The sensors could gather information about the health of physical systems and, for instance, discover leaks in pipes by detecting changes in the environment near the pipes. Sensors in manhole covers could detect problems there as well.
Neat, right? However, for such a vision to become reality, many of those sensors will need to communicate wirelessly and have long-lived on-board stores of energy. Or put simply, batteries that are in it for the long haul. Fortunately, there’s good news on that front from Michigan.
A startup called Ambiq Micro won a $27,000 grant at the Michigan Business Challenge hosted by The University of Michigan’s Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. Sure it’s peanuts compared to some of the awards and funding rounds I typically cover, but this one could have a huge impact. According to Lora Kolodny at the You’re the Boss blog at The New York Times:
Ambiq Micro plans to sell low-power microprocessors that could substantially extend the battery life of a range of tiny wireless devices. The start-up’s technology could be used in smart credit cards, computers, sensors that control temperature or detect motion in smart homes and buildings, and a variety of medical and mobile devices.
The day may soon arrive that you can unbox a sensor, pop it into place regardless of how far its from a power source and not have to worry about it for years. Also imagine being able to turn your “vintage” digs into a futuristic smart home without paying for a costly rewiring job.