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Why get small? Microsystems clearly cost less in raw materials, many of which are plastic. All cost less to power since they are lightweight and tiny. Some even have miniature power plants built right in their itty bitty machinery. Many of same benefits accrue to carbon tube nanocomputers being tested now on a pinhead sized platform.
Now comes fun part! What happens when tiny machines powered by tiny microprocessors are humming away in tiny corners of every appliance making them work better, faster, cheaper and more efficiently? Ubiquitous computing is here! There's even a conference on this infant technology that is just over two years old and still in diapers, but growing fast as it approaches it's third event in September 2002.
The idea here is not to make computers a noticable part of our lives, but to make them disappear entirely while making everything easier. Is that clear-as-mud in a really tiny river?
Not only will all devices, furniture and even clothing be computing constantly, but they'll each be connected to each other and to internet to make life easier for everyone. As with all utopian dreams, there is a dark side to this wondrous little liliputian world.
What about privacy?
With our underwear talking to global positioning satellites, it may be possible to have a really tiny big brother sewn into elastic in your shorts. Wearable computers are available now with blood pressure monitors and tiny insulin- injecting pumps for those who need them. A microprocessor controlled artificial leg allowed Curtis Grimsley to escape 70th floor of World Trade Center on September 11.
When all of these tiny computers can talk with each other and be connected to web, it's time to take a serious look at who has access to which microprocessor and when.
I propose that we do that now, before privacy concern becomes a giant issue in a shrinking world.
Mike Valentine does Search Engine Placement for the Small Business WebSite101 "Reading List" Weekly Netrepreneur Tip Sheet Weekly Ezine emphasizing small business on the Internet