We've written about Smart Dust in the past and it continues to be one of our favorite buzzwords. Here's how we described Smart Dust in our 2013 article:
Smart Dust refers to tiny wireless sensors that detect anything from light to temperature to humidity to vibrations.
They're called smart dust because the idea is lots of them would be deployed, they'd be really small (the size of grain of sand or smaller) and they'd float and lie around, like dust.
Despite their small size, a smart dust "mote" (the term used for single smart dust sensor) would contain sensors, computing circuits, bidirectional wireless communications technology and a power supply.
Long used in science fiction, the term and concept were really hot in the early 2000s. But like so many technologies the hype was way ahead of the reality - which was the technology was nowhere near ready for commercial applications back then.
But also like so many other technologies, after a decade or so of improvements, advancements and maturation Smart Dust may be starting to get closer to reality.
Readwrite's Is Smart Dust the IoT Vector of the Future covers a project at UC Berkeley that has developed "“neural dust” that can be implanted into the body, to monitor internal nerves, muscles or organs in real time."
The folks at Berkeley are also working on smart dust motes that could be used for brain-machine interfaces.
These would be part of a broader effort to create - new buzzword alert - smart dust based "electroceuticals". Key quote:
“The vision is to implant these neural dust motes anywhere in the body, and have a patch over the implanted site send ultrasonic waves to wake up and receive necessary information from the motes for the desired therapy you want,” said Dongjin Seo, a graduate student in electrical engineering and computer sciences. “Eventually you would use multiple implants and one patch that would ping each implant individually, or all simultaneously.”
Appending "ceuticals" to a word or part of a word is a popular way of creating new buzzwords.
For example, cosmeceuticals are cosmetics that also provide some health benefit, nutraceuticals are food or food supplements that provide health benefits, etc.
We've even seen the term beerceuticals used, but only once (the health part probably didn't stand up).
So it probably was just a matter of time before someone came up with electroceuticals.
For more on Smart Dust, see the article Smart Dust Will be the Future of the Internet of Things. It provides a nice overview of the history of smart dust and explanations of various ways it could be used.