nano sensors look set to take the internet of things (IoT) to a whole new level
We are currently just getting used to the idea that we are in the midst of a technological revolution in connected items, with inexpensive microsensors and microprocessors endowing ordinary everyday things with amazing capabilities. Allowing us to adjust our lights and energy use, unlock doors and even alert us to health issues through a plethora of wearables.
Even as we start to digest what this explosion in technology means for the way we live and the way we consume, we are facing a further development beyond the IoT into the world of nanosensors. Scientists have started shrinking sensors to a size able to circulate in the human body itself or to mix directly into construction materials.1 This is seen as the first step towards an Internet of Nano Things (IoNT) that could take medicine, agriculture, energy efficiency and many other sectors into a whole new dimension.
IoNT is still an emerging technology but promises to give us an inexpensive, highly detailed picture of our cities, homes, factories, farms and even our bodies. Whilst we are busy connecting traffic lights, home devices and wearables to the internet, the future could see billions of nanosensors embedded into our living environment harvesting huge amounts of data in real-time.
1 Source: World Economic Forum
All the while we keep developing new ways of harvesting data the key to our success will lie in how we interpret and act on that data. Information gathered by one source might prove valuable to another. Who will own the data? How do you protect the consumer's privacy and safety? The concept raises interesting questions about responsibility that will challenge brands and create new paradigms.