Smart bricks could monitor buildings, save lives

A “smart brick” developed by scientists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign could monitor a building’s health and save lives. “This innovation could change the face of the construction industry,” said Chang Liu, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Illinois. “We are living with more and more smart electronics all around us, but we still live and work in fairly dumb buildings. By making our buildings smarter, we can improve both our comfort and safety.”

Escalating 'Sensor War' Is the Face of Future Conflict

Military commanders of the future will employ high-tech sensing equipment to detect the strength and positions of enemy forces, including those attempting to hide from prying electronic eyes. “‘Sensor War’ is a fully two-sided ‘game,'” noted Arthur K. Cebrowski, director of DoD’s Transformation Office and a retired Navy vice admiral. “You want to sense something (and) the person or the thing that you’re trying to sense is owned by someone, so they take measures to make it more difficult for you to find it.” The concept of “Sensor War” isn’t far-fetched, he pointed out. Today’s firefighters, he noted, use heat-detecting equipment to find “hot spots” in burning buildings despite swirling smoke and dust.