For any closed loop based circuitry to work on, we need sensors to get feedback from the environment. With the advancement in electronics, the basic need of the hour is upgraded sensors. Researchers across the world are working on providing the new sensors to take input from surroundings. The latest sensors, including those in IoTs and wearables, are soon going to revolutionise the electronics industry. To get the idea for making any advanced electronics circuitry, the electronics academia must know all about the sensors that are available.
Latest sensors have more features like user-friendliness, accessibility and flexibility. There has been a transformation in the sensor industry with the integration of new technologies to make sensors smarter and intelligent. Although ordinary sensors are still used in many applications, the advancement in microelectronics is taking sensor technology to next level. Let us explore some of the sensors available in the market.
These sensors are connected to a computer network for monitoring and control purpose. IoT sensors include temperature sensors, proximity sensors, pressure sensors, RF sensors, pyroelectric infrared (PIR) sensors, gas sensors, liquid-level sensors, automobile sensors and medical sensors.
Air pollution sensors are used to detect and monitor the presence of air pollution in the surrounding. Currently, sensors which are capable of detecting particulate matter with a diameter between 2.5µm and 10µm are available in the market.
These sensors are as small as a rice grain and can be inserted directly under the skin that can act as ID cards. RFID chips have found their application in many areas like contactless bank cards and Oyster cards. These chips are also implanted in pets and cattle for monitoring.
The latest wearable sensors include medical sensors, GPS, inertial measurement unit (IMU) and optical sensors. These sensors are also integrated into various accessories such as clothes, wristbands, eyeglasses, headphones and smartphones.
An image sensor detects and conveys the information that consists of an image like the sensor in smartphone camera. Digital imaging is fast replacing the analogue imaging
These sensors convert a biometric treat (fingerprint, voice, face) into electrical signal. One of the most common biometric sensors is fingerprint module. The latest generation of fingerprint sensors from Qualcomm have sensors for display, glass and metal, detection of directional gestures and underwater fingerprint match.
The new class of sensors produced by 3D printing are becoming popular now. This next generation sensor is expected to enable applications ranging from human-machine interfaces to environmental sensing.
These sensors are precision devices in which the mechanical part and micro sensors along with a signal-conditioning circuit are fabricated on a small piece of the silicon chip. Some of the MEMS sensors available are accelerometers, gyroscopes, pressure sensors, magnetic field sensors and fluxgate sensors.
They are a further miniaturised version of MEMS. They mostly rely on carbon based materials like diamond, carbon nanotube and graphene. Some examples are nanoresonators and nano accelerometers.