The 3.5 billion mobile devices on the planet are seen by many scientists as the world’s largest decentralized computer, capable of linking up trillions of pieces of data in an instant. Researcher’s at UCLA’s Center for Embedded Network Sensing (CENS) are taking advantage of this for the first time.
They just launched a private beta of their participatory sensing project called PEIR (Personal Environmental Impact Report) which links your cell phone via GPS to real time environmental data such as CO2, particulate matter, eroded land, etc.
Strangely, they have a “Fast Food” impact which cracked me up, but as I understand it, that’s actually a guinea pig test for cell phone photograph mapping. The result is a report of the impacts on your health by exposure to the above factors.
All of this high tech wizardry will be open to the public and linked up to Facebook in the Fall of 2008. You can sign up in advance at the PEIR website.