Feeds

HP plans a trillion-sensor global stethoscope

Hearing the heartbeat of the Earth

Security for virtualized datacentres

Getting the vision thing right is important for technology announcements and HP has it nailed, twinning a great vision with advances in its sensing technology.

Here's Peter Hartwell, a senior researcher at HP Labs: "With a trillion sensors embedded in the environment, all connected by computing systems, software and services, it will be possible to hear the heartbeat of the Earth, impacting human interaction with the globe as profoundly as the Internet has revolutionised communication." Okay Peter, we're paying attention now.

The meat of this concerns digital MEMS (micro-electrical-mechanical system) - accelerometers that signal a change in physical force impinging on them. They are built into sensors that detect acceleration, shock loading and vibration. Hard disk drives that park their heads when dropped use this technology. HP says its printer ink cartridges use it too. Its HP Labs has developed MEMS technology that's up to 1,000 times more sensitive than current high-volume MEMS.

It means they can detect and respond to flutters as well as shakes. That implies they can be used to better monitor the status of buildings and bridges, fault zones in the earth, mining operations and volcanoes. In fact, any application where detecting microscopically small vibration events or patterns is important.

HP says the technology involved nano-sensing research and uses fluidic MEMS technology, co-developed by HP Labs and its Imaging and Printing Group. It claims ultrasensitive, low-power "sensors based on this technology can achieve noise density performance in the sub 100 nano-g per square root Hz range". Such sensors "can be customised with single or multiple axes per chip to meet individual system requirements."

The vision thing then gets glued to commercial interests, with Ken Abbott - an HP emerging technology director - gleefully talking about how "this... positions HP to deliver sensing solutions and services on a global scale." HP also grandiloquently talks about "a new information ecosystem, the Central Nervous System for the Earth (CeNSE)" - with a trillion new MEMS sensors dotted around the globe. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
iPAD-FONDLING fanboi sparks SECURITY ALERT at Sydney airport
Breaches screening rules cos Apple SCREEN ROOLZ, ok?
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
The British Museum plonks digital bricks on world of Minecraft
Institution confirms it's cool with joining the blocky universe
Turn OFF your phone or WE'LL ALL DI... live? Europe OKs mobes, tabs non-stop on flights
Airlines given green light to allow gate-to-gate jibber-jabber
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.