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Published January 2010 | Published
Journal Article Open

The Impact of Sense and Respond Systems


Sense and respond (S&R) systems based on information technology amplify one of the most fundamental characteristics of life — the ability to detect and respond to events. Living things thrive when they respond effectively to what's going on in their environments. A zebra that doesn't run away from a hungry lion dies and one that runs away unnecessarily wears out. Organizations sense and respond collectively: lions in a pride signal each other when they hunt; societies deal with crises by harnessing capabilities of governments, charities, and individuals. When our ancestors hunted millennia ago, they saw as far as the eye could see and threw spears as far as their muscles let them. Today, S&R systems let us detect events far out in space and respond anywhere on the globe. By 2020, S&R systems will become an integral part of the activities of people and organizations around the world whether they're rich or poor, in farming or medicine, at work or at play.

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© 2010 IEEE.

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