Smart Dust for piano (2005)

Work commissioned by the Lucerne Festival
WP: 26.11.2005, Lucerne (CH) | Thomas Larcher (piano)

Very Slow, attaca
Very fast

Audio sample

Tamara Stevanovitch (piano) | CD What Becomes

Programme note
Picture being able to scatter hundreds of tiny sensors around a building to monitor temperature or humidity. Or deploying, like pixie dust, a network of minuscule, remote sensor chips to track enemy movements in a military operation

“Smart Dust” devices are tiny wireless microelectromechanical sensors (MEMS) that can detect everything from light to vibrations. Thanks to recent breakthroughs in silicon and fabrication techniques, these ‘motes’ could eventually be the size of a grain of sand, though each would contain sensors, computing circuits, bidirectional wireless communications technology and a power supply. Motes would gather scads of data, run computations and communicate that information using two-way band radio between motes at distances approaching 1000 feet.

Potential commercial applications are varied, ranging from catching manufacturing defects by sensing out-of-range vibrations in industrial equipment to tracking patient movements in a hospital room.

Thomas Larcher