Japan’s NMEMS technology research association has revealed an amazing new sensor module. It’s just 1mm thick and measures 2cm by 5cm, but that’s more than enough space to cram in a wide array of monitoring abilities, power generation, and wireless communication capabilities.
These “stickers” will be capable of keeping tabs on a wide variety of environmental conditions, from dust, CO2, and VOC levels to ambient temperature and the strength of nearby electromagnetic fields. Situated on the bottom layer is a tiny solar setup that will generate and store the necessary power.
It doesn’t need much, either. NMEMES TRA says the sensors will require about 150μW. Currently the photoelectric layer can produce about 80% of that, so there’s some tweaking to do before the first prototypes can be delivered in 2014.
Once the necessary juice can be supplied, the sensors will be able to communicate wirelessly over a distance of about 100 meters. That works out to an area of about 31,000 square meters — impressively wide coverage when you consider that no outside power needs to be supplied.
These autonomous little stickers should be perfect for monitoring all kinds of indoor environments, like schools, malls, office buildings, factories, and hospitals.
They should make life a little easier for your local health authority, too, since data can be gathered wirelessly from more than a football field away. That’s a heck of a lot more convenient than distributing old fashioned detection devices and then gathering them all up later to analyze data.
With a sticker price of around $10, it won’t take long for these sensors to find their way into buildings all over the globe.
More info here.