Much of our world is being created on the nanoscale – so much so that nanotechnology is having an impact on our lives daily. From nanoparticles in sunscreens to nanotechnology for charging smartphones, it can regularly be seen in the everyday.
One of the major themes that bring the nanotechnology together is the internet. In recent years, this technology has had a big impact on how we use the internet and how it is built. Here, we explore the effects of the tech on the internet and what comes next.
What We Have
The Internet of Things (IoT) is already well established, building connectivity between devices that send and receive data via the internet. It is created from microsensors and microprocessors that are connected to wireless antennas or power outputs.
This helps to bridge the gap between mobile devices and desktop computers by being added to everyday tech. We can see it in thermostats and cars and assisting with money management and HR systems, as well as keeping track of any hazards and flagging up any detected fraud.
While we are on track for having up to 30 billion IoT devices online by 2020, we are also set to see things going smaller than micro in order to deliver these connected services.
The IoT sensors are getting ever-smaller. In fact, scientists are working to reduce them from microsensors to ones that fit on the nanometer scale. This combination of nanoscale devices and existing internet networks has been dubbed the Internet of Nano Things (IoNT).
IoNTis shaping up to transform the way sectors such as medicine operate. For example, by introducing nanosensors that are small enough to fit in the human body, the technology can be used to wirelessly send information to doctors and surgeons conducting operations and carrying out tests.
Creating Nano Sensors
The IoNTnano sensors are made from modified single-cell organisms, such as bacteria. This means the technology can be used as biocomputers in medicine to explore and treat certain conditions, as well as farming and agriculture and pharmaceuticals. They are also made from non-biological materials, like carbon nanotubes that can detect an issue and signal the problem.
The Future of IoNT
As the internet continues to become further intertwined with nanotechnology, it is becoming apparent that there are steps to take before implementing some of the techs. One of the big challenges includes checking the tech from a technical point of view before using it. Nanodevices are so intricate that they require rigorous testing to ensure that they are able to send and transmit signals.
Also, there are the issues surrounding heath. Introducing technology such as this to a human body could prove toxic unless it has been properly tested. Add to this, the conversations around security and privacy, and it could be a while before we see the IoNT commonly used.
The internet is continually being impacted by nanotech and, while technology we use is shrinking, it is important to factor in the benefits and pitfalls of such devices before we proceed.