Sensors are experiencing large-scale deployment in diverse end-user applications across verticals in standalone, integrated, combined, embedded and, more recently, wearable and ingestibles. Sensors are transforming to be highly intelligent with analytical and decision-making capability at the edge. Driven by the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution, sensors form the cornerstone of Industry/Manufacturing 4.0, an integrated approach to remote connectivity for real-time monitoring and control. Smart sensors are now evolving to be prognostic/ predictive. With up-gradation of contact, non-contact technologies and evolution of hybrid technologies, sensors are proactively enabling new applications. Sensors are at the forefront of digital transformation across diverse industrial markets.
"These trends impact everyone in the value chain and demand a shift in strategies to survive and succeed in the dynamic marketplace," said Sensors & Instrumentation Industry Principal Dr. Rajender Thusu. "For instance, monitoring and control using the IoT platform is driving wearable sensors that provide various physiological data and enable quantified self-movement. They provide mobility, connectivity, and context awareness with each other and the rest of the world. This will transform health wellness through preventive care and see increasing penetration in other vertical markets such as industrial, sports, security, firefighting, military and security." Sensor adoption is on the rise and use of software and protocols helps network compatibility both wired and wireless.
Global Sensor Outlook 2016, part of Frost & Sullivan's Sensors & Instrumentation Growth Partnership Service programme, estimates the global sensors market to generate USD162.36 billion in 2019, with industrial control, smart cities, and eHealth being top revenue contributors. Immediate investment focus will be on developing non-contact technologies, remote connectivity through IoT, 3D printing, and improving 3D vision sensing.
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A few of the other transformative changes involving sensors include:
- Increasing adoption of 3D sensors and their integration into monitoring systems;
- Silicon photonics: silicon chips with integrated optics and electronics;
- Biosensors: rapid detection devices to address gaps in healthcare and food safety;
- Energy harvesters: micro-energy harvesting systems that generate electrical energy from solar, vibration and thermal energy;
- Intelligent vehicles: fully automated and driverless;
- Bulk acoustic wave and surface acoustic wave: will enable highly economical industrial and consumer applications;
- Infrastructure and sensor towers: completely automate building monitoring through new integrated sensor systems.
"Wireless sensor networks are the future of connectivity," said Thusu. "Sensor technology will continue to advance in terms of natural user interface, ubiquitous computing, and sensory tracking. By 2025, sensors will not only be intelligent and prognostic, but also autonomous, self-healing and failsafe, paving the way for Industrial IoT (IIoT)."
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