When we think about all the ‘things’ in IoT and data, in the front, back, and everywhere in between, sensors do not get enough credit. They are the piece of the IoT puzzle that keeps things moving. The explosive growth of sensor technologies is hard to comprehend unless, like DNA Group, you design them and are in the middle of the action. With over 30 years of experience, DNA Group is a leader in integrated solutions HMI, Connectivity, and Contract Manufacturing. Tim Sweet , Solution Manager of DNA Group, and a favorite among the RIoT ecosystem, shared with us recently his thoughts on sensors. With a sensor being either a component to be integrated or a device to be used, there are quite a few definitions of what a sensor is. Tim prefers thinking of sensors as measuring and sensing the boundary between the digital world and the real world. 

There is a new paradigm around sensors. Why did it shift? Tim has some thoughts on that. He believes the data economy has something to do with it. According to Tim, the data economy will continue to drive sensors smaller and smaller, which makes perfect sense! Data is ubiquitous and sensors gather the data. Sensors are in everything and everywhere gathering data to inform and predict our decisions. As devices get smaller, so will sensors. Consider humidifiers and dehumidifiers.  Since 2000, humidity sensors have gone from the size of a TV remote to the size of a thumbnail. In just twenty years time, humidity sensors have become a ‘throw away’ component. Even still, consider the types of sensors used in our smartphones.  Those are barely the size of a head of a pin. It makes me wonder where the technology will be in another 5 years.

Tim has some great advice for the audience. The first is to examine whether you need a custom sensor or one available off the shelf. Also, understand how design affects cost as everything you need in a sensor will add additional cost. For more of what Tim had to say, take a listen to the recording.