Smart dust can perhaps best be described as tiny, connected sensor motes tasked with performing a wide variety of functions. As Ernest Worthman of Semiconductor Engineering notes, the applications for IoT-enabled smart dust are practically limitless and include designing uber-mini drones the size of small bugs.
“Such a device would be ideal for deployment during a natural disaster where the communications infrastructure is knocked out,” writes Worthman.
Image Credit: SemiconductorEngineering
“Or, in a combat situation where dust eyes and ears can relay enemy data for troop and support ordinance. On a smaller scale, these motes can be deployed within a house, or on a ranch or farm, or even in a forest to report almost any type of event.”
According to Worthman, the motes will have to hit the air fully functional – capable of immediately interfacing with the network using a secure protocol during reporting.
“Typical methodologies for securing wireless motes include spread spectrum techniques, standard 128-bit AES encryption algorithms, data integrity via message integrity codes, replay counters and denial of service (DoS) techniques and algorithms,” he adds.
Similarly, futuristic devices that could potentially be implanted under the skin would also require high-level security features before hitting the market en masse.
Indeed, a Dutch entrepreneur known as Martijn Wismeijer recently had two wireless computer chips implanted in his hands to facilitate the easy storage of digital currencies like Bitcoin inside his body.
“Wismeijer has already experimented with storing crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin on the chip, but he adds that it is vital to encrypt them to prevent theft – especially if it’s common knowledge that you have a chip and tell people where it can be found,” reports Matthew Sparkes of The Telegraph.
“He had used it to store the private keys for his Bitcoin wallets. In the end he decided that it’s not yet secure enough for him to use permanently, but said that the experiment was a success.”
Although such a procedure is still highly experimental, Wismeijer says he already has real world uses for the implants.
“I personally feel that by supporting these bio-hacking developments we can learn what works and what doesn’t and that some day, in the not so distant future we will be able to implant more functionality like sub dermal glucose sensors or heart rate monitors and other vital health monitoring devices,” he told The Telegraph.
“Imagine a normally invisible tattoo on your arm glowing red when you get a heart attack, swipe your phone and your phone will notify doctor. By supporting these bio-hacking initiatives I believe we are paving the way for social acceptance while at the same time we support the bio-hacking technology that drives it.”