Smart Dew. 25 cent sensor can detect intruders up to 50 meters away. Cost Effective US-Mexico or Israel Border Control

A Tel Aviv University researcher’s fingertip (bottom right) points to a “Smart Dew” droplet. Proposed smart dust designs were of comparable size. More advanced concepts exist for even smaller version of smart dust but this is the smallest and cheapest to date.

A new invention from Tel Aviv University — a network of tiny sensors as small as dewdrops called “Smart Dew” — will foil even the most determined intruder. Scattered outdoors on rocks, fence posts and doorways, or indoors on the floor of a bank, the dewdrops are a completely new and cost-effective system for safeguarding and securing wide swathes of property.

Each individual “dew droplet” can detect an intrusion within a parameter of 50 meters (about 165 feet). And at a cost of 25 cents per “droplet,” Prof. Shapira says that his solution is the cheapest and the smartest on the market.

Unlike conventional alarm systems, each droplet of Smart Dew can be programmed to monitor a different condition. Sounds could be picked up by a miniature microphone. The metal used in the construction of cars and tractors could be detected by a magnetic sensor. Smart Dew droplets could also be programmed to detect temperature changes, carbon monoxide emissions, vibrations or light.

Each droplet sends a radio signal to a “base station” that collects and analyzes the data. Like the signals sent out by cordless phones, RF is a safe, low-power solution, making Prof. Shapira’s technology extremely cost-effective compared to other concepts.

“It doesn’t require much imagination to envision the possibilities for this technology to be used,” says Prof. Shapira. “They are really endless.”

Science Daily also has information.

Thousands of these Smart Dew sensors — each equipped with a controller and RF transmitter/receiver — can also be wirelessly networked to detect the difference between man, animal, car and truck.

“We’ve created a generic system that has no scale limitations,” says Prof. Shapira. This makes it especially useful for large farms or even the borders of nations where it’s difficult, and sometimes impractical, to install fences or constantly patrol them. “Smart Dew is a covert monitoring system. Because the sensors in the Smart Dew wireless network are so small, you would need bionic vision to notice them. There would be so many tiny droplets over the monitored area that it would be impossible to find each and every one.”

Smart Dust Concept and Projects

Smart Dust is described at wikipedia

Smartdust is the term used to describe a network of tiny wireless microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) sensors, robots, or devices, installed with wireless communications, that can detect (for example) light, temperature, or vibration.

The smartdust concept was introduced by Kristofer S. J. Pister (University of California) in 2001, though the same ideas existed in science fiction before then (The Invincible, 1964). A recent review discusses various techniques to take smartdust in sensor networks beyond millimeter dimensions to the micrometre level.

Some attribute the concepts behind smart dust to a project at PARC called Smart Matter

The smart dust project finished in 2001

Smartdust devices will be based on sub-voltage and deep-sub-voltage nanoelectronics and include the micro power sources with all solid state impulse supercapacitors (nanoionic supercapacitors).

The recent development of nanoradios may be employed in the implementation of smartdust as a usable technology.

The networked sniper locator system could eventually be adapted to this scale of technology.

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As always your vision of the singularity is far more clever than other concepts that I have read before.

I believe you arer closer to predict the right way the things will happen.

And as I said before I really like it when you do this resumes


The IEEE Spectrum article was already talking about the goals of a "singularity". The three points from Richard Jones which were addressed. Also, Hanson in his economics of the Singularity pointed to the shift to agriculture and industrializations on economic singularities. I am not using the strict something far greater than human intelligence that causes unpredictable acceleration in tech. Because by definition is undefined tech acceleration. I prefer to talk about predictable tech.

Also, achieving zettaflop computers combined with current brain simulations could have very interesting capabilities.

Accelerating processes (like building construction) by 100-1000 times could have very interesting and not fully predictable effects.


"Somewhere in a cave in Pakistan dwells a person who does not want this to happen. There needs to be someplace for the people who fear progress to take a time-out. Is there anyone still living who read Alvin Toffler?"

When all of these things have happened, there will be some Amish in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania still farming with horses and riding buggies. In a free society, people can opt out if they want to. It's not whether people can opt out, it's whether they think they have the right to force everybody else to opt out. The latter type are the problem.


Nice post, but I think that you are misusing the term "singularity" here. What you are predicting is merely a continuation of current economic growth rates and rates of scientific progress.

The only thing in your article that has anything to do with a technological singularity is the one line on "cognitive enhancing drugs", because they form a part of a fairly strong feedback process as far as technological progress is concerned. However the drugs which are *currently* available are pretty lame as far as strong positive feedback into technology is concerned.


Somewhere in a cave in Pakistan dwells a person who does not want this to happen. There needs to be someplace for the people who fear progress to take a time-out. Is there anyone still living who read Alvin Toffler?


A successful polywell fusion future (which I also think is probable) would also be far less mundane. Energy levels would be higher, costs lower and space travel faster and more capable.


There has been discussion on political, economic, ethics and social choices related to nanotechnology. However, let me point out that these are technologies that are advancing globally so there are many national and regional jurisdictions. So different tax systems and policies. Also, the past decades have mostly been mainstream people denying that Transhuman technology is possible so serious discussions about economics and politics mostly do not happen. When it has happened those discussions are also ignored. Also, discussions about taxes and economic freedom have generally not advanced into implementation. If you and I have a debate and then we and a few hundred people agree on the best political and economic plan, then so what ?
The fair tax plan has a best selling book and some congressman, senators support it and even Mike Huckaby a fairly successful presidential candidate supported it. But is it anywhere close to implementation ? Flat tax plans have not gone anywhere in the USA.

Europe has the VAT.
Hong Kong has a nearly flat tax.

I do not see any of these changes bringing about the fundamental changes to economic or political hodgepodge that exists now. Changes will happen but not just because of increases in technology and wealth. Just as past increases in wealth and technology were not the drivers of such change.

Per capita wealth has increased 30 times over the last one hundred years in the USA.

If you have a proposed better system and a feasible way to implement it then please present it." REL="nofollow">Foresight policy whitepapers" REL="nofollow">More foresight discussion on those topics" REL="nofollow">Nanoethics group" REL="nofollow">Center for Responsible Nanotechnology has examined these topics as well


The methods and goals described in your "mundane" singularity are, I think, far more practical and realizable than "drexlerian" nanotech and A.I. You have to realize that many of us transhumanist types have our doubts about molecular nanotech (aka "drexlerian" nanotech).

I would say that a robust "wet" nanotech (i.e. that based on solution-phase chemistry) will be able to do much (not all) of the things that "dry" nanotech is supposed to do.

I would add a couple more. One is Bussard's polywell fusion concept, which is under experiment in New Mexico.

The other is ocean seasteading that "Al Fin" occasionally describes on his blog.

I like this post. The issue is radical life extension and material abundance. Whatever technologies that get us there are the key. Not that it necessarily requires "drexlerian" nanotech.


One huge flaw in all of the TH writing is the lack of focus on political and economic freedom and the structures required for it.

We could very easily end up with an authoritarian state where the TH individuals labor mostly for the rest.

We already have somethng like that in the US where the top workers pay over 50% of the taxes while their very job positions provide the means for others to live comfortably.

How mundane would it be to live in paradise as a slave.