The Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications is working on a system that allows for information gathering about a disaster area by sprinkling RFID sensor tags from the sky (possibly using helicopters.) The sensor tags would collect various information about a disaster — perhaps most importantly, if anyone is alive. The tags are about several centimeters wide/high and equipped with heat, infrared, and vibration sensors.
Once sprinkled over the area, the tags would detect the heat from fire and the heat and vibration from survivors’ body and send out the data through a mesh-like network. The ministry thinks that about 10,000 tags will be needed to cover an area as large as a big airport. They plan to finish their technology R&D by 2007.
Via RFID in Japan.