HP's Central Nervous System for the Earth (CeNSE), a project of HP Labs, is revolutionizing the way information is gathered, communicated, and analyzed. CeNSE consists of a highly intelligent network of billions of nanoscale sensors designed to feel, taste, smell, see, and hear what is going on in the world. When fully deployed, these sensors will quickly gather data and transmit it to powerful computing engines, which will analyze and act upon the information in real time using a new breed of business applications and web services.

CeNSE combines breakthrough innovations from HP Labs in nanotechnology-enabled sensors, networking, data storage and computation, business analytics, and optimization in ways that could make people and businesses safer, more secure, and more efficient.

By providing real-time information on the physical environment, the networks are intended to improve the way governments, businesses, and society respond to and manage environmental, biological, and physical/structural changes. Examples of potential CeNSE uses include roads, buildings, bridges, and other infrastructure; machines such as those used in airplanes and manufacturing plants; and organizations that work on health and safety issues, such as the contamination of food and water, disease control, and patient monitoring.

CeNSE will open up a new breed of business optimization applications using information ranging from operating capacity and merchandise tracking to environmental management and safety. The sensors will have the potential to "smell" a gas leak, monitor the speed and volume of freeway traffic, sense wear and tear on a bridge, or track the spread of the next flu virus. With CeNSE, organizations can be more effective and use resources more efficiently throughout the global economy. CeNSE could lead to tenfold gains in production efficiencies and the ability to extend the life of manufacturing components by 50%.

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