Environmental sensors keep an eye on potentially dangerous industrial environments by monitoring CO2, temperature, dust levels or electromagnetic field. Smaller, cheaper and easier to install sensors allow more complete coverage, giving technicians a better sense of what's going on.
Japan's Green Sensor Network Laboratories has pushed the envelope on all three of those parameters, unveiling a postage-stamp sized, self-powered, flexible wireless sensor it says will cost less than $10.
The sensor, about as thick as a credit card, has a three-layer construction composed of a microprocessor, a flexible antenna and a power-generating semiconductor nanofiber. The flexible construction allows the sensor to be attached to surfaces like a sticker, and once deployed, data is transmitted wirelessly. Current prototypes generate about 80% of the electricity needed, but the research team intends the sensors to be self-powered by launch time.
So whether you're measuring industrial smog output or you just want to see how hot your apartment gets during a summer workday, these sensor-stickers will someday let you put a gauge on pretty much anything. [via Phys.org]