Technologies

Sensors, Internet of Things & Big Data

Sensors

A sensor is a device that detects and responds to an input from the environment such as heat, light, sound, moisture, pressure, magnetism, or motion. The output from a sensor is displayed at the sensor location or transmitted over a network for processing. Sensors are used in countless objects, ranging from everyday items to complex machines.

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly growing network of physical objects that are connected to the Internet. Objects in this network communicate with each other and share data by using embedded sensors. The objects can be monitored and controlled remotely.

Examples that go beyond traditional computing devices include cars that have Internet connectivity, wearable devices such as smart watches and activity trackers, smart thermostats, and smart cities that use IoT technology to monitor energy use, weather, transit, and much more.

It has been predicted that by 2020, there will be more than 24 billion IoT devices worldwide. The IoT/sensors market has been forecast to be valued at $34.75 billion by 2023. While the market continues to grow, maintaining security of IoT devices and the data they hold is a significant issue for industries and companies.

Big Data

Big data refers to large or complex data sets that exceed the capabilities of traditional data processing software. The term also refers to use of predictive analytics, user behaviour, and other advanced data analytics methods that extract insights from data to support more strategic decision-making. Data sets are growing rapidly, in part because of the proliferation of Internet of Things [Link to IoT page] devices. Among the challenges with big data are capturing, storing, analyzing, and transferring data. Maintaining security of big data is another issue.

Printed, Flexible, and Organic Electronics

Related to the advances with the Internet of Things are printed, flexible, and organic electronics.

Printed electronics are printing methods used to create electronic devices on a range of substrates. The use of conducting or semi-conducting inks enables printing of resistors, transistors, and other electronic components on material such as cloth or plastic.

Flexible electronics, also known as flex circuits, is a technology for mounting electronic devices on flexible substrates, such as various polymers. Very thin and flexible electronics could transform electronic devices.

Organic Electronics is a field of materials science that focuses on the design, synthesis, characterization, and application of organic small molecules, also known as polymers, that show electronic properties such as conductivity.

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