A group of French researchers believe that the sensors and transmitters we wear will route and relay data, not just collect it. We won’t just be connected to the network. We’ll be the network.
Ever wonder what the network infrastructure of the future will be? Try looking in the mirror.
Some day our bodies — or at least the clothing or accessories that adorn them — could become key network nodes in the internet of things. European researchers think that sensors and transmitters on our bodies can be used to form cooperative ad hoc networks that could be used for group indoor navigation, crowd-motion capture, health monitoring on a massive scale and especially collaborative communications. Last week, French institute CEA-Leti and three French universities have launched the Cormoran project, which aims to explore the use of such cooperative interpersonal networks.
The concept of wireless body area networks (WBANs) isn’t a new one. WBANs could be used to sever the cord between patients and their monitoring equipment. Companies like Apple and Heapslylon are exploring the possibility of connected clothes with embedded sensors. We’ve already begun embracing a new era of wearables, such as Google Glass to Fitbit (see disclosure), designed to become extensions of our senses and movements.
All of these devices will become key end-points in the internet of things, but what Cormoran proposes to make them pull double duty. Rather than just remain terminuses, they could route bits to and relay data from each other, becoming a distributed ad hoc network that constantly morphs as we move through physical space.