Intelligent Machines

Demo: Sensor World

Millennial Net shows how wireless sensors can enable better energy efficiency and inventory control.

Embedded in homes, offices, cars, and factories, thousands of tiny computerized sentries could track inventories, monitor electricity use, and even detect ground vibrations and toxic gases to provide early warning of earthquakes and chemical spills. But how are researchers turning this vision into reality? “What we bring to the table is, we make real products,” says Sokwoo Rhee, chief technology officer of Millennial Net, an MIT spinoff. By designing ultralow-power, postage-stamp-size hardware and smart networking software for sensors, he says, his team is building the “Swiss Army knife of wireless applications” that can go anywhere, anytime. Millennial Net’s products are already being used to automate and report meter readings, detect carbon monoxide and turn on ventilation fans in parking garages, and track temperature-sensitive items like food and drink in transport. The goal is to be integrated into “millions of devices by 2007,” says Rhee, so that a sensor in a streetlight, say, could alert you to weather or traffic problems via your cell phone. At Millennial Net’s headquarters in Cambridge, MA, Rhee showed TR associate editor Gregory T. Huang how to assemble a wireless mesh of networked sensors-and deploy them to do work in the real world.

Uh oh–you've read all five of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium

$179.95/yr US PRICE

More from Intelligent Machines

Artificial intelligence and robots are transforming how we work and live.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe and become an Insider.

  • Insider Premium {! insider.prices.premium !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Our award winning magazine, unlimited access to our story archive, special discounts to MIT Technology Review Events, and exclusive content.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

    Access to the Magazine archive. Over 24,000 articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips.

    Special Discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

    First Look. Exclusive early access to stories.

    Insider Conversations. Join in and ask questions as our editors talk to innovators from around the world.

  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}* Best Value

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus ad-free web experience, select discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

    Access to the Magazine archive. Over 24,000 articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips.

    Special Discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning magazine and daily delivery of The Download, our newsletter of what’s important in technology and innovation.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

You've read of free articles this month.