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back to article HP plans a trillion-sensor global stethoscope

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 …

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Paris Hilton

So, does that mean...

that the vibration record from every HP laptop, printer etc. is going to be transmitted back to HPHQ?

Paris: Did you say vibrator?

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Alert

Central Nervous System for the Earth ...

and then it wakes up.

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Silver badge

but are they waterproof

We're all taught in school that three quarters of the planet is covered in water. That seems to imply that three quarters of these sensors should be on the bottom of the sea, too. It just seems that making a trillion sensors is the easy part (though not particularly easy). the tricky bit is getting all the data from them and knowing where they all are.

How exactly are these guys planning to supply power to and get data from a network of sensors a couple of thousand metres down in the Atlantic or Pacific. Plus, who's going to go down there to fix them if they go wrong?

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Terminator

Is that similar to...

...the sensors they put in Alt, Ctrl and Delete keys so that by holding down any two the imminent finger press on the third is sensed early and the PC springs into life.

I wondered how my PC always knew when I was threatening it.

Maybe HP could also use it to know when your kicking the case in fury and automatically raise a support call for you. This way they could ring you first and save you a trip through the telephone menu system of doom.

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Black Helicopters

small vibrations -> sound -> microphone?

Hang on! Does this mean my network inkjet printer could be recording my conversations and phoning home to tell on me?... takes hammer to printer shouting "record this vibration you sneaky little shit!".

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Thumb Up

hmm

Pete, it's two thirds methinks, however, you are right, these are management boasts not practical ideas.

Ben, computers always know when they are being threatened, tapping the power button will also work. :D

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Pint

Macbook anyone?

there's already an open-sauce ad-hoc sensor network of Macbooks' accelerometers - I'm not making this up (iSeismograph) which uses the embedded Kionix KXM52-1050 three-axis accelerometer chip (dynamic range of +/- 2g and a bandwidth up to 1.5 KHz) WHY? I hear you scream , it's because Cupertino is in a wobbly bit of the planet, and quoting a 2008 paper directly "Because the MacBook laptop hardware provides an inexpensive sensor and data acquisition system, it can be placed in the field (such as mounted on a bridge) and used for real-time health monitoring applications." By health they mean BIG structure health etcetera and by mounting - I think it involves BIG clamps. However some Califrnians just leave their MB's on the table doing iSiesmo during the night...........so HP are going to buy a trillion MBP's??? ?????

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Linux

MEMs pollution?

Oh god. I never thought of it before, but I wonder what it will be like when every conceivable item has dozens of these MEMs and or RFID tags all transmitting in an "old" protocol? No way to find or upgrade a trillion censors... hope they get the protocol right the first time. No IPv6 transition here...

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Gold badge

Overkill?

I know that the old: "If a tree falls in a forest and nobody's around to hear it, does it make a sound?", is a thorny philosophical question with no satisfactory answer.

Bugging the entire planet to render the question moot as a solution seems like overkill to me.

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Oh no

old mrs davis has gas again.

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Black Helicopters

Every breath you take...

Every move you make. Every breath you take, they'll be watchin' you

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Headmaster

At some point, reality sets in

I will buy your first 1 million sensors if you will prove to me these sensors have a noise density of less than 100 ng/root Hz at a frequency that is useable in seismology, or structural monitoring and can be made practically in a MEMS device. Lesson for the day, Mr. Ken Abbott; the lab is clean and safe, the real world is not.

I'm serious about my offer! Send me a quote for 1 Million pieces and let's talk.

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