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The term "smart dust" in IT refers to very small micro-electromechanical sensors (MEMS). Even though these individual components may be as small as the size of a grain of sand, or barely visible to the human eye, they can contain components such as circuits, sensors and wireless technologies, as well as individual power supplies.
Smart dust can sense vibrations and other physical phenomena in a space. These types of technologies, which are now generally in design stages, could be used in many different kinds of statistical analysis or information gathering. They would typically be a way to crowdsource large amounts of information to determine various statistical results.
In a practical sense, smart dust elements operate near or at the nanoscale, defined as 1 to 100 nm. Many experts refer to smart dust as a nanoscale project or as part of nanotechnology. As these types of projects move forward through some engineering challenges, they may have a huge impact on many industries in terms of automation and monitoring.