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Sensor technology: five trends of International Consumer Electronics Exhibition

Update: 2019-10-19 17:09 Source: LUFTMY Reading: ↻ News
 

The Internet of things has gained momentum and combined with market forces in the automotive industry to expand sensor technology and integrate it into our customers' products.Most of the basic technologies we saw at the consumer electronics show (CES) are familiar to us, but their creative use and dramatic cost reductions have given us fresh inspiration.

1. Personal radar, provided by the automotive industry

When humans see from the spectrum, it's natural to assume that our devices (if they can see) will also use the spectrum. But processing visible light requires a lot of signal energy to separate objects and ranges. Radar equipment, on the other hand, USES millimeter-wave radio, requiring only milliwatts of power.

At ces, we saw personal radar sensors that use small batteries to detect the position and speed of objects. You can wear one on your bike helmet to remind you if a car is creeping up from behind. Your house can use it to detect an object moving towards it, identify you or your dog or your car, and then open the appropriate door.

Radar guns have been around for a long time, but they are expensive, bulky and generally used only for specialized purposes such as law enforcement. Driven PX 2 is a new supercomputing platform with a 360-degree array of sensors that can view the environment around the car.

This push from the auto industry and the growth of wireless products have lowered prices and improved device performance, enabling us and our customers to use these technologies for a few dollars and implement them in less than a square inch.

2. Radio imaging

Another trend we are seeing is the expansion of uwb radio, WiFi and bluetooth to 3D radio imaging. This is a way of locating people and objects within a building, providing a background to what is happening in the area of interest at a relatively low cost. Radio imaging can tell not only where someone is, but also what they're doing-and it can be seen through walls.

Which room is someone in? Where exactly are they standing? Does a person face a particular device or leave? How fast are they moving? This contextual information can be immediately applied to security, home automation, and even industry.

3. Audio beamforming

Audio beamforming is also impressive. It used to be expensive and specialized, but now it's cheap and practical. Originally developed for military applications, audio beamforming USES microphone arrays to collect three-dimensional azimuth information about sound sources. The military finds it helpful in spotting hidden snipers and other dangers; Car designers have found that it also helps with audio commands and reduces speaker noise.

4.Wearable devices for fitness and health

Sensors for medical applications are another hot area of ECS. Conduction circuits for sensors that measure heart rate and blood pressure can now be woven into clothing or hidden in your earbuds. Blood and air sensing can also be woven, or using breath sensors. Blood glucose tracking for diabetics is a hot topic for devices this year. Levl, for example, measures acetone in your breath to try to figure out how much fat and carbohydrates your body burns during exercise.

Another sensor, the SCiO, USES optical methods to measure nutrients in food. The same technique may also be used to measure compounds in blood or sweat.

5. Energy collection technology

Energy harvesting devices that do not require an external power source are large in the startup aisles at CES. These devices use existing sensing technology, think of a paper towel dispenser in a public bathroom that emits towels when you wave your hand, but captures their energy in a clever way. For example, when someone pulls out a towel, the extra mechanical energy on the dosing roller can be used to charge its battery.

You can attach a magnetic device to your backpack or shoe to collect energy and charge your phone with the movement you make while hiking or running. There are also devices that collect energy from photovoltaic cells that are tuned to the wavelength of light in the room, thus generating more energy at a lower cost. As designers, we can apply these innovations to products that use new, cheap, low-power sensors and charge them with energy that would otherwise be wasted: temperature sensors, motion sensors, and so on.

All of these sensor developments lead us to believe that the Internet of things will expand significantly in the next year or two as its practical applications expand.

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