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Cheap and ubiquitous sensor systems will shape the coming decades. There is an emerging class of small high-performance electronic devices such as mobile phones, electronic toys, home appliances, monitoring and control systems in industrial facilities, and medical diagnosis systems, which are or will be equipped with pill box sized microprocessors or computers as well as sensors. These “smart sensors” with limited power and processing capabilities are often wirelessly interconnected. An assembly of many of them spread throughout the physical world will form sensor networks able to identify, localize, and monitor physical, environmental, and industrial processes, biological and health conditions, goods, vehicles, factories, stores, or even people.
Date of Publication: March-April 2012