New Directions: The Future of Sensing is Batteryless, Intermittent, and Awesome

Josiah Hester, Jacob Sorber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

25 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sensing has been obsessed with delivering on the “smart dust” vision outlined decades ago, where trillions of tiny invisible computers support daily life, infrastructure, and humanity in general. Batteries are the single greatest threat to this vision of a sustainable Internet of Things. They are expensive, bulky, hazardous, and wear out after a few years (even rechargeables). Replacing and disposing of billions or trillions of dead batteries per year would be expensive and irresponsible. By leaving the batteries behind and surviving off energy harvested from the environment, tiny intermittently powered computers can monitor objects in hard to reach places maintenance free for decades. The intermittent execution, constrained compute and energy resources, and unreliability of these devices creates new challenges for the sensing and embedded systems community. However, the rewards and potential impact across many fields are worth it, enabling currently impractical applications in health services and patient care, commercial and consumer applications, wildlife conservation, industrial and infrastructure management, even space exploration. This paper highlights major research questions and establishes new directions for the community to embrace and investigate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSenSys 2017 - Proceedings of the 15th ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems
EditorsRasit Eskicioglu
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
ISBN (Electronic)9781450354592
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 6 2017
Event15th ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems, SenSys 2017 - Delft, Netherlands
Duration: Nov 6 2017Nov 8 2017

Publication series

NameSenSys 2017 - Proceedings of the 15th ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems
Volume2017-January

Conference

Conference15th ACM Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems, SenSys 2017
CountryNetherlands
CityDelft
Period11/6/1711/8/17

Keywords

  • Batteryless
  • Energy harvesting
  • Intermittent
  • Sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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