Here's an interesting experiment: try to count, how many sensors are around you now. A camera and a microphone on your computer, GPS sensor and gyro sensor intelligent mobile phone, with acceleration sensor in the fitness tracker...... If you work in a modern office building, or live in a newly renovated house, the sensors will constantly detect your actions and the temperature and humidity of the environment.
Sensors are ubiquitous in our lives because they follow Moore's Law: sensors have become smaller, cheaper, and more powerful. Gyroscopes and accelerometers is now the intelligent mobile phone standard, but a few decades ago, they also are bulky and expensive equipment. Therefore, in the past, the application of such equipment is limited to spacecraft or missile navigation. At the same time, with the development of microelectronics design, energy and electromagnetic spectrum management, even if the cost of less than $1 chip, a sensor array can also be connected to a low-power wireless communication network.
This huge amount of information generated by the sensor network will be huge to unbelievable, but most of the information is invisible to us, it seems to be an invisible wall up, only the specific application specific devices (such as adjusting the thermostat, or record you take every day applications how many steps), can access and use these data.
If we can get rid of that, there will be major changes in the computer and communications industries. Once we have developed a communication protocol that allows data exchange between the device and the application, any program can access the data of the sensor in any artifact. If this vision is to be realized, then Mark Weiser's 23 years ago in the twenty-first Century, the computer predicted in the pervasive computing era, will become a reality.
The advent of pervasive computing is not going to be gradual, and we believe it will be a revolutionary change, as the rapid spread of the internet. In Google maps, twitter and mobile phone applications, and these applications are launched on those industry giants, we have seen that the revolutionary transformation of pervasive computing has begun to sprout. However, only when a variety of devices can access data from a wide range of sensors, technological innovation will be explosive growth. Integration of environmental information, will become the next batch of market capitalization reached $1 billion level of technology companies, they will use the data generated by the sensors around us to develop a new application.
It is no less difficult to predict how pervasive computing and sensor data will affect our daily lives than 30 years ago, how the Internet would change the world. Fortunately, we can use the "media theory" as a reference: in the 60s of last century, Marshall Mike, a communications theorist, said that the electronic media will become an extension of the human nervous system (). If Mcluhan is still alive today, don't know how he would look at the popularity of sensor. When sensors become ubiquitous, when the data they collect can become part of the body's sensory information in a new way, what is the boundary of human perception? How can we define the concept of "existence" when our perception is not limited by time, space and scale?