Here are some cool little devices! Wimoto Motes are tiny sensors, just about an inch to a side, that monitor the environment and broadcast information using iOS-ready Bluetooth Low Energy.
Ranging from moisture, temperature and humidity sensing to infrared and motion triggers, the Motes offer low-maintenance, long-lived sensor technology.
They grew out of a homebrew project that enabled developer Marc Nicholas to monitor his home air conditioner and keep track of when his tomatoes needed watering. Motes can do a lot more now.
There's a scientist who uses one to monitor the humidity in his laser lab -- ensuring that ambient moisture in the air won't affect his experimental results.
There's another lady in New Zealand who runs a Bikram yoga studio -- which must be kept at exactly 40 degrees C and 40 percent humidity at all times. If not, she receives alerts on her iPhone.
Other users have set up baby monitoring and room-by-room temperature checks. There are even users who are adding motes to their smart-farming efforts. By tracking climate on a very localized scale, they can tailor crop selection.
Nicholas tells TUAW, "Some cultivars of rice will only flower at night in a 2C range of temperatures -- they're using [motes] data to make sure farmers' crops don't fail."
The Bluetooth Low Energy implementation means the devices run on long-lived coin batteries, using a well-defined communication protocol. The devices are rugged, small and unobtrusive.
The Motes are currently participating in a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. Units include the "climote," which monitors light, humidity and temperature and the "growmote," which keeps track of sunlight, soil temperature and moisture. The "thermote" provides object temperature feedback, and the "securimote" is triggered by infrared motion and acceleration.
Want to learn more? Here's the Motes project promo video: