When you look at DARPA's newest project, it almost feels like the agency's recent breakthroughs have left it a little drained, creatively. The government's research wing has announced that IBM is helping it create non-incendiary self-destructing devices for use in the field. Yawn. The new VAPR (Vanishing Programmable Resources) program would use a CMOS sensor attached to a piece of glass that, when triggered by an RF-signal, would shatter on command and destroy the sensor in the process. As the outfit tells it, this would ensure that these "transient electronics" -- such as sensors for monitoring an area for a specific time-period -- don't fall into the wrong hands and give away classified information. These sound pretty handy to be sure, but they aren't nearly as cool as robo-beetles.
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