HP Labs have a new(?) project, the Information and Quantum Systems Lab with an ambitious goal:
Create the mathematical and physical foundations for the technologies that will form a new information ecosystem, the Central Nervous System for the Earth (CeNSE), consisting of a trillion nanoscale sensors and actuators embedded in the environment and connected via an array of networks with computing systems, software and services to exchange their information among analysis engines, storage systems and end users.
There’s not much more at the website at the moment but, as Bruce Sterling says:
Even if one guy in a hundred is carrying a ful-scale environmental lab in his pocket… and actively measuring, uhm, chem/bio, temperature, vibration, sound, magnetic fields, radiation, humidity and weather conditions… “all so cheap as to be basically free”… well, that would make the 20th century look as crude as the world before germ theory.