The next big thing in IoT is tiny—really, really tiny—one cubic millimeter to be exact. Micro motes are autonomous, fully functional electronics systems that include a computer. The goal of these tiny devices is to make small, smart sensors for IoT devices that use less energy while doing more.

These speck-sized computers were developed at the University of Michigan, as part of the Michigan Micro Mote project. Embedding processors in IoT devices can be very costly and use too much energy while having to constantly collect and send data into the cloud. A micro mote has energy-efficient computing inside and sensors that can analyze without needing to send the information away. A recent addition of flash storage makes it possible to store larger amounts of data in the micro mote.

Since they are so small, micro motes run on very little power which can be generated through a solar cell. Another benefit of having a computer this small is that it can be used in medical procedures and even be injected. As the IoT expands, micro motes may suggest that we’re looking at a more efficient future in a much smaller package.

Written by IEEE on May 2, 2017

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