They look like tools your plumber might be using, or maybe someone coming to check your energy meter. Instead, these small devices could very well play a role in the biggest oil spill disaster we've ever seen.
Until this week, Turner Designs had not gotten a whole lot of attention from the Silicon Valley crowd. Yes, they deal in pretty complex technology, but there's no social-networking or micro-blogging involved, just manufacturing scientific instruments to track oil spills.
The instruments about to enter the spotlight have names like the C3 Submersible Flourometer, and the Cyclops-7 Submersible Crude Oil Sensor. You probably couldn't recognize them in a lineup, but they're being counted on to help stem the flow of oil in the Gulf of Mexico.
Turner's devices are being used mainly to help track the flow of oil. The C3 Flourometer, for example, uses optical sensors to track the flow. With news coming out fast and furious about just how much oil has been leaked in the BP disaster, tracking the spill is now topic number one in the press, and on the scene of the spill.
As BP itself pumps mud and cement into the leak to stem it, the big task of tracking just how much oil has been lost, and where that oil may end up, could likely last for awhile.
Which means a Silicon Valley company you don't know yet is probably going to be pretty well known before too long.
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