Chips with Everything

Bruce Sterling – still a visionary.

Chips with Everything
It’s still only 2007. Apple has not yet shipped a single iPhone. We don’t have Windows with Wheels and Eyeballs either. But self-powered green chips? The Germans, in the unlikely global stronghold of wind and solar, are very busy on ambient power: unlike Apple and Microsoft, nobody’s ever heard of EnOcean. It’s a start-up specializing in wireless doodads that can harvest and store the tiniest traces of environmental energy: a flux in daylight, a change of air pressure. Green-powered ­micronetworks—no more batteries.

Fast, cheap, wireless, inky, self-powered, and out of control: at a price point like that, every product is an Internet site. Even a stick of gum isn’t safe.

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