I wonder if Grace Hopper verified that the bug she found in the computer was really a biological insect or one of the first covert electro-mechanical bugs?
I also wonder if the bugs themselves are making electro-mechanical replicas for their own purposes. Of course, I could just be getting a little paranoid extrapolating all of the potential evolutions of these things.
Just because you are paranoid does not mean that someone is NOT out to get you!
Just a thought.
When I saw this, I thought the same exact thing. This has been in the imaginations of many people for years. I can not recall the countless cartoon shows that have a bug with a camera or microphone on it watching the heroes of the story. (The good guys never used such covert methods.)
Unfortunately, this is the state of the world now.
There has been a fair number of SciFi stories out in the last year describing this type of "bug", so they may be too late to actually patent the idea, but they might get one for implementation. It depends if someone else has already filed a patent for the who spectrum of these devices.
The new MEMS technology is creating small low cost sensors that will make these types of devices pretty common in the next decade. Where is the "cone of silence" when you need it. With these bugs getting all around, there will be no place where you can talk to anyone without somebody "eaves dropping". No pun intended E.
Still, think of the effect these bugs could have on search and rescue operations during a disaster. You could put hundreds of them into the area in minutes to start finding survivors and relay their position to a mobile command site. Mass produced, they could be throw away items.
As a side benefit, they could greatly confuse the local bugs during the mating season. With enough "sterile electronic bugs" available, the natural populations could really suffer. Could be a big problem for pollinating bugs, but I suspect no one would object to mosquito drones.
Just a thought.