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CIA backs sensor-network company

The venture capital arm of the CIA takes an interest in a Denver start-up called Tendril Networks.

In-Q-Tel, the venture capital arm of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, has taken an interest in wireless sensor networks with an investment in a Denver area start-up called Tendril Networks. Tendril makes software development tools for sensor networks, an emerging area of wireless computing aimed at detecting changes in light, temperature, moisture, motion and other environmental conditions.

The U.S. government is interested in the technology as a tool for monitoring air and water quality for pollutants and to detect bioterrorist attacks, according to a Tendril representative. In addition to an investment in Tendril, In-Q-Tel has agreed to license the company's software. Tendril did not disclose the financial terms of either agreement.