Only YOU, Or A Wireless Network And Sensors, Can Prevent Forest Fires

Networks and wireless sensors have been used for years — by companies like Lighting Science Group, Arch Rock (acquired by Cisco) and D-Link — in a variety of smart building, smart grid and security applications. Their systems can sense occupancy, control lighting and temperatures, and make energy-sucking devices a little more efficient, or make buildings a little easier to patrol and keep safe.

Now, a startup called Insight Innovation & Technology Ltd. (a.k.a. Insight) is using wireless sensors and networks in the wild to predict, prevent and track forest fires. The company installed its technology in Hong Kong’s Tai Lam Country Park with the cooperation of the Guangdong Forestry Department.

The sensors were placed strategically (image, right) to monitor environmental factors like temperature and humidity throughout the forest. The data they pick up is transmitted in real-time via 4.2Ghz radio frequency communication networks. Insight won two awards today for this project, from a major research park and incubator: the Honk Kong ICT 2011 silver award for the “Best Innovation & Research (Postgraduate & Open),” and a certificate of merit for “Best Social Responsibility.”