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Sensors:The Next Big Things

Author : Date : 2013-9-25 16:37:06

Sensors: The Next Big Thing

Sensors being integrated into ever-more products and systems will be a key driver for technology developments for the next several decades.

Most people have had a tough few years, but as a sensor company we have been lucky. Many of our clients have kept customers interested and orders coming in by adding new features to their existing products. Often these new features need developing and testing using sensors - or they may even actually be a sensor!
But this is not just a recession buster; it is part of a long term trend. Many consumer products are becoming more 'intelligent', while specialist systems are becoming more 'capable'. In reality this means more sensors are being fitted and their signals processed automatically.

For instance a modern camera is likely to have sensors for tilt, shake, focus, light levels. Today's cars have sensors for speed, engine revs, exhaust content, brake pressure, engine temperature, cabin temperature, ambient temperature, window position, lock activation, oil levels, etc. And this number will only increase, drive by new safety requirements, increasing environmental monitoring and the consumers' insatiable desire for something new.

The medical world is increasingly automated. Doctors, dentists, nurses, chiropodists and physiotherapists all use far more equipment than their predecessors. And it is increasingly sophisticated equipment too, with sensors providing feedback for self-adjustment and as a diagnostic aid.

Clean fuel technologies such as engine management systems, flue gas analysers and afterburners for incinerators and boilers, all rely on real time sensing.
Considering all this, it is clear to see that the deployment of sensors is going to spiral over the next several decades. New areas of use are appearing all the time, existing sensor users are installing ever more, and areas that previously did not uses sensors at all are now adopting them for automation, monitoring or to provide extra functions.

We can safely predict that in 10 years time sensors will be so much more developed that it will be like the current generation of automotive engineers. In short, technology is going to change radically due to the increasing development and use of sensors, and life will follow suit. Sensor companies always work at the leading edge of developments, so we know that there are several drivers for technology.