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Get Ready to Live in a Trillion-Device World

By Computerworld

September 11, 2015

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In an interview, University of California, Berkeley professor Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli predicts within 10 years people will live in a world completely suffused with tiny sensors.

"The entire environment is going to be full of sensors of all kinds," Sangiovanni-Vincentelli says. "Chemical sensors, cameras, and microphones of all types and shapes. Sensors will check the quality of the air and temperatures. Microphones around your environment will listen to you giving commands."

Sangiovanni-Vincentelli predicts there also will be sensors within people's bodies, monitoring their health and thoughts so they do not even have to speak to interact with the connected environment.

He dismisses concerns about the ramifications such a world would have for personal privacy by saying, "We've already lost it...everything is already recorded somewhere. What else is there to lose?"

However, he acknowledges numerous challenges remain before such a world can be realized. More robust wireless networks and wireless communication protocols will be needed, business models will need establishing to create the trillions of tiny sensors, better security will be needed, and a larger cloud will be needed to handle all of the data such devices will generate.

"It's actually exciting," Sangiovanni-Vincentelli says. "In the next 10 years, it's going to be tremendous."

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