My fiancée Lindsay sent me a link to a cool project raising funds on Indiegogo called Motes — "tiny tough sensors to keep you connect with your world."The Motes come in three flavors: the Climote senses temperature, light levels, and air humidity; the Gromote senses sunlight intensity, soil moisture and soil temperature; and the Thermote measures the temperature of any object it faces.

Motes

All the Motes connect to apps on the iPad and iPhone with Android versions expected later this summer.

Check out their video:

Some of the promised key features:

  • Battery life of ~1 year on a single cell battery.
  • Motes remember up to a week of data when they are not in range of a network.
  • They're built to weather the weather. They're built to stand up against nature elements.
  • They're working on an upgrade that will allow for real time transmission of data over Wi-Fi.
The project has already surpassed it's $22,000 goal with 44 days to go, but there are still lots of good contribution levels to claim. For $99 you will get all three Motes, and $2,750 will score you 100 Motes.

There's a big future in remote sensing. There is no reason not to believe that remote sensing chips like Motes won't soon be treated like thumb drives are now — cheap and ubiquitous. How does the world change when Motes cost a quarter each? Imagine how much better famers could grow crops (and by extension, use less fertilizer and pesticides) if they could place cheap sensors all around their land and on their livestock? What about our homes? Energy efficiency professionals could lay sensors around your home, collect data for a week, and then seal up all the inefficiencies. When we start to piece together larger networks of smaller networks of motes, we'll really start to see some amazing applications.

We live in the future that I imagined as a child. It's awesome.

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