IoT and a tale of two sensors
You will know when the Internet of Things has fully arrived by many indicators. One could be when every bullet has its own IP address and machine-written blog-page! Sat in box; sat in box; sat in box; got fired.
Well we are not quite there but we are moving closer. A non-lethal bullet from SmartRounds Technology LLC (Brighton, Colorado) will include two sensors (see Video: Smart bullet carries two sensors). And clearly this is just the start. Soon there could more sensors and wireless networks and multiple processors allowing bullets to make decisions in-flight. Which – if it can turn guns into non-lethal but effective tools for law enforcement – could be a good thing.
Smart ordnance is not new. Many of us can remember footage of terrain-hugging Cruise missiles that referred to mapping information on their way to their target. But electronics is good at miniaturization and cost reduction. Indeed it is the cost-reduction aspect that has the most significance for market growth and societal change. The reason that there are billions of cameras around the world continually taking pictures is not really because someone invented the charge coupled device (CCD) image sensor or even the CMOS image sensor. Those were the necessary but not sufficient starting conditions. The reason cameras are everywhere is because the semiconductor manufacturing industry made the CMOS image sensor small AND low cost. But mainly low cost.
So wireless sensor nodes already exist but are complex, multi-die, non-standardized, highly application-specific in a fragmented market and expensive. When they become complex, standardized and low-cost they too will be deployed in their billions, write their own weblogs as they go and the Internet of Things will have arrived.
So just consider that whatever has been deployed in smart munitions and unmanned aerial vehicles to date could one day be found in what used to be just a ball of lead. And that will be one more indicator that the Internet of Things has arrived.
Related links and articles: