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Tiny sensor has many uses

March 11, 2010

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Imagine being able to adjust your home furnace, check whether your arteries are plugging up or determine your child’s whereabouts, all from a brooch-like device on your chest.

That could soon be a reality thanks to wireless sensor technology developed by SFU engineering professor Bozena Kaminska, CiBER—an SFU mixed-technology electronics research lab—and her own company, Adigy.

CiBER first made headlines three years ago when it unveiled a wearable wireless cardiac-monitoring and diagnostic sensor. It was embedded in a circular polymer disk about the size of a quarter that was designed to be worn on a jacket or shirt.

Since then, further biosensor development has led Kaminska’s team to create a new generation of devices that can be used for secure document storage and transmission or for tracking and detecting the identity of objects and people. They are also working on "sensor-based wireless applications to create smart homes and save energy," she says.

Not only do these sensors have highly sophisticated health, athletic, security and energy monitoring applications, they can also communicate with each other through a proprietary solar-powered, wireless, mesh network connected to the Internet.

CiBER has successfully tested several of its network installations in the B.C. Interior and at the National Research Centre, and several health-care facilities are testing its sensors and networking capabilities for medical and athletic applications.

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