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Connecting the Physical Worlds– Smart Sensors Technology: Ubiquitous — Transforming Industries, Organizations…

The Internet connects people in a global-wide web of information– zillions of bits that are stored in computer memories, hard drives… But there is an emerging revolution occurring using highly miniaturized, wireless, networked ‘smart sensors’… these devises are connecting and transforming our ability to understand and manage the physical world around usAccording to several research reports: The global smart sensors market is anticipated to reach $60 billion by 2022, and growing at a CAGR of 19.2% from 2016 to 2022…

The market size and growth potential of smart sensors covers multi-industries and across many segments, e.g.; security, surveillance, energy-efficiency, consumer electronics, automotive, healthcare, automation, robotics, manufacturing… These smart devices are the connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT)… According to Gartner; the number of sensors needed to create the Internet of Things (IoT) is mind-boggling; some 26 billion smart sensors will be installed by 2020 in everything from– cars to conveyor belts, buildings to bridges, road signs to refrigerators, test beds to toasters, smart grids, smart cities, smart environments… The use of smart sensors is truly ubiquitous…

In the article Smart Sensors by 30mhz writes: It’s a new era where objects are embedded with sensors with ability to acquire, measure, and communicate information that can improve processes, reduce costs, minimize risk. Smart sensors (often wireless) offer organizations the opportunity to capture data from– anywhere, anytime, under all environmental conditions. Wireless sensors can be placed anywhere, even in the most difficult to reach places or extreme environments… They can track where assets are, monitor their condition and save time by predicting upkeep needs… They can capture just about any metric, including; vibration, heat, moisture, image, sound… and submit data for processing via the cloud or local processor…

It’s a new era with focus on sensor driven computing as a key area of innovation and growth from street signals, to manufacturing plants, to construction cranes, to jet engines… the massive amounts data that can be collected is both overwhelming and exciting… However, it’s crucial that organizations have complete solution that not only capture sensory data but refine it into actionable insights… Sensory data augments human capability for better decision-making, and that enables organizations to be more competitive, efficient, productive.

In the article Smart Sensors and Internet of Things by Jim O’Donnell writes: Internet of Things (IoT) cannot exist without smart sensors, and growing use of smart technology is already transforming how many organizations implement the IoT… Smart sensors bring more connectivity and analytics to the value chain, e.g.: Here are some things to consider:

  • Smart sensors are the indispensable enablers of the IoT… Smart sensors, including radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, serve three broad purposes; 1. identification, 2. location, 3. condition… All have major implications for a value chain and manufacturing… They are useful in plants or warehouses because they keep track of critical indicators, such as; temperature, humidity, data logs for quality control, triggers for alarms, and process management…
  • Smart sensors are embedded in products, which help improve the manufacturing process or the products themselves. Sensors are integrated within products to create ‘smart products’ and they provide many enhanced valued added features… They can also permeate the manufacturing process to– monitor, control, and improve operations… and added to logistics to streamline how products are delivered…

In the article Healthcare With Smart, Wireless, Wearable Sensors by MDO writes: There are strong indications in the marketplace that a digital healthcare revolution is coming (often referred to as wireless, digital, or mobile health). The basic idea is to wirelessly connect the patient with care providers to monitor their health and intervene as needed– ideally preventatively– as the patient goes about normal life. The enabling technology is a miniature, smart sensors incorporated around– deployable, wearable, implantable– the patient. Wearable are attractive, because they require no medical procedure and travel with the patient…

Miniature, smart sensors are based on micro- and nano-fabrication technology, often simply referred to as MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) and NEMS (nano-electro-mechanical systems). These devices augment the computational ability of microelectronics with perception (i.e., sensing) and control (i.e., actuation) capabilities…

MEMS sensors and actuators have over 40 years of commercial history behind it, and MEMS sensor design and manufacturing advances have enabled consumer electronics volume, pricing, and performance. The MEMS industry is bullish on the prospects for wide range of smart sensors, and there is gathering momentum to develop a trillion-sensors road map…

In the article Smart Mini-Sensors, Next Big Thing by Dror Sharon writes: The proliferation of smartphones, wearable, Internet of things… have heralded the age of affordable smart sensors… For example; imaging capabilities within smartphones has evolved rapidly since introduction of smart sensor technology, including;  new lens packs, new CMOS sensors and extensive image sensor processors in order to improve the capability and/or quality of images, photos, videos… Some smartphones and wearable even have a pulse-oxymeter for monitoring health… Smart sensors with embedded microprocessors and wireless communication links are changing the way systems are– monitored, controlled, maintained…

The changing nature of technology is disrupting value chains, forcing companies to rethink and retool nearly everything they do… In the past decade the Internet’s impact accelerated with the proliferation of; always-on, cloud-connected, and multi-sensory devices, such as; smartphones, wearable devices… It’s a digital shift being instigated by the forces of– cloud, mobile, sensors, social. The Internet of things  (IoT) drives massive numbers of smart sensor connectivity, and society  is putting unprecedented pressure to balance resource constraints and environmental sustainability concerns…

Hence to name just a few examples: consider the rapid emergence of ‘smart cities’, which are full of IoT devices, including; smart electric meters, smart street lights, smart sensors to monitor traffic flow… Also consider; ‘smart buildings’, which are full of IoT devices running; smart elevators, lighting, security, HVAC systems… Also ‘smart cars’, they too are full of IoT devices that manage just about all major functions in the automobile… Smart sensors are ubiquitous– more organizations, government, companies… are exploring how they can take advantage of the combination of– smart sensors, cloud, artificial intelligence… to improve customer value, competitiveness, better decisions, improve the workplace experience…