These autonomous sensors that are all the rage

They are the foundation of the Internet of Things and are self-powered by light, heat and even vibration


Perched high above a harbor on the Dingle Peninsula on Ireland’s Atlantic coast, Mike Fitzgerald’s office offers a sweeping view of the realm he hopes to conquer: the high seas.Founder and CEO of Net Feasa , a name dating from Irish word for “knowledge”. , Mike Fitzgerald’s goal is to equip each of the millions of shipping containers in circulation around the world with a sensor. The idea is to track these containers and monitor their status. The information gathered is then transmitted to the people who need it, either by satellite when the container is at sea or via a cellular network when it is in port or on land. The entrepreneur hopes to improve the efficiency of supply chains.

A technology behind the Internet of Things

Supply chain monitoring is just one of the benefits that small, remote-controlled sensors can bring. People are already interacting with many of them, sometimes knowingly, like those on smartwatches, sometimes less, like those who regulate their office temperature and lights. Some even pompously speak of a networked network similar to an “Internet of Things” (IoT).

Regardless of whether this network comes about or not, there will be many more such sensors in the future. In 2017, researchers at chipmaker ARM predicted the world would have one trillion by 2035. Even more conservative estimates are in the tens or hundreds of billions. And they will all need energy. But unlike battery makers, who may already be starting to rub their hands over this new market, Mike Fitzgerald and others like him see things differently. Your version of that future […]

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