Sensors are instrumental in changing how we see and interact with everything around us. Many decades ago, the technological advancements we enjoy today would have been impossible. But today, the rapid advancements in technology are bound to continue in speed and purpose to bring further enhancements to our lives. The range of sensors available in the market today is suitable for just about every application imaginable. Some are so small that they fit in handheld devices such as mobile phones.
Sensor manufacturers and engineers in the past had to struggle with complicated circuitry and were hampered by the cost and size of sensors. This is no longer the case now because the demand for microchips also drove the prices of sensors down, making them more affordable for use in consumer electronics. When it comes to sensors used for industrial purposes, manufacturers like Positek continue to enhance methods of fabricating sensors that can withstand the harshest working conditions.
The many applications of sensors
The primary purpose of sensors is to collect data and convert it into information used for quality control, safety, and efficiency. There are smart sensors that can transmit data without wire connections and do it in real time too. Examples of applications for modern sensors include:
- Monitoring the structure of dams and bridges
- Analysing traffic patterns in major cities
- Controlling environmental factors and detecting anomalies
- Managing energy production and supply
- Improving efficiency in the manufacturing industry
- Checking and keeping track of viable agricultural conditions
- Streamlining the health industry
In the past, sensors used to operate using analogue signals. Now, smart sensors are becoming more common in the manufacturing industry. These sensors help with monitoring the working conditions of the machines and other equipment, reducing operational downtime, and optimising safety for workers. In the coming years, it is likely that a majority of sensors will be using digital technology to communicate output. Apart from the preference for digital output, advanced sensors will also process and gather large amounts of data, and be able to communicate with multiple platforms.
The emergence of smart sensors
There is already a significant effect and benefit of using intelligent sensors in a variety of applications. For example, the healthcare industry was one of the very first to embrace smart sensors in different services. There are electronic health products available for patients today which consist of sensors that allow patients to monitor their health daily. This is significant because patients with chronic conditions have a better chance of being able to manage their health and know when symptoms occur.
Another popular device used today which uses miniature sensors is wearable sports performance monitors. The simplest would be a band you wear on your arm to monitor blood pressure and heart rate. There are sophisticated versions that measure other parameters essential in gauging an athlete’s performance.
Undoubtedly, sensors play a significant role in our daily lives and will continue to shape technology as years go by. Sensors will eventually become smarter and more robust, therefore improving all applications across all the industries that require them.