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New networks take nature’s pulse

 

The hand-sized yellow objects poking up among the lush canopies at Camalie Vineyards aren’t a new variety of monster grape. They’re electronic devices that can sense soil moisture.

Viticulturist Mark Holler says these wireless sensors sprinkled throughout the leaves help him manage the high cost of irrigation and improve his yield.

“Wireless sensor networks extend the Internet … out into the environment,” says Mr. Holler, a retired Intel technologist who owns and runs the 4.4-acre vineyard in Napa, Calif.

While the networks won’t necessarily make someone a better vintner, they do have a practical side: During the 2007 drought in California, Holler figures the technology saved him several thousand dollars in water costs.

 

More info here.