A smart sensor is a device that uses onboard computing resources and information from its environment to detect specific input data which triggers predefined functions. The sensor then processes the data before passing it on. It usually consists of a sensor, a microprocessor, and communication technology of some sort. It may also include additional components like transducers and amplifiers, etc. There are widespread applications of smart sensors for monitoring and control mechanisms in numerous fields such as scientific applications, smart devices, smart grids, battlefield reconnaissance, etc.
Smart sensors make an automated and accurate collection of data possible by filtering out the noise. "The benefit of the smart sensor," says Bill Black, controllers product manager at GE Fanuc Automation, "is the wealth of information that can be gathered from the process to reduce downtime and improve quality." Thus, as the use of these sensors as a result of automation and technological progress increase, it will cause an explosion of collected user data which would be the chief contributor for Big Data and its uses.
All this data or Big Data collected will help predict trends and patterns which will further improve machine use and automation in our lives. The Internet of Things currently is and will continue to benefit the most from smart sensors and their applications. Companies around the world are working on interoperability to make Internet of Things a possibility.
The Internet of Things is a network of interconnected devices that relay and receive user information through the network for a smoother and more synchronized user experience. Some of its applications are already in use. The collection of user data to make the IoT a success requires the use of smart sensors. Every electronic device around us will make use of these sensors to collect meaningful data, process it, and then pass it along the network.
Smart Sensor kit for Arduino and Raspberry Pi
Taking input, processing, and then communication is the three main actions performed by any smart sensor. Although these run on low powered microprocessors, the constant use of these smart sensors requires energy and generates huge amounts of data. Therefore, the uses of smart sensors to enable Internet of Things and other useful sensor based applications are currently limited by resources and infrastructure. However, cloud computing can have an important role to play in this respect.
Cloud computing is on the rise and storage as a service and infrastructure as a service are some of its most useful and popular applications. These same applications will be a huge benefit in promoting Internet of Things by providing cloud storage and infrastructure to our devices so that not only can they remain connected but also have access to the necessary resources and infrastructure to function without limitations.
Smart sensors are also used in developing university projects and experiments as well as home automation. There is a large number of sensors available that can be used with the Arduino or Raspberry Pi boards to design a smart device. An Arduino board is best suited for simple repetitive tasks while Raspberry Pi is a full-fledged computer that should be used for more complicated applications like running a fully functioning robot. Lists comprising of popular sensors for Arduino and their uses can be viewed here and for Raspberry Pi here.
Top 5 Smart Sensors for Arduino and Raspberry Pi
Smart sensors are all around us and their uses are only ever increasing. The Internet of Things and smart sensors are set to mutually benefit from each other in the near future. Both are vital to the other’s growth and success. Integration of smart sensors into devices and machines and their industrial uses will produce numerous advantages like increased productivity and performance as well as reduced costs. These sensors will be vital in providing better and more effective home solutions as well promoting medical care facilities and services by observing our health to collect useful data as well as take necessary action in case of an emergency.
A better and more connected world is not possible without the use of smart sensors. These will also be major contributors to Big Data and its uses to predict trends and patterns and help marketers and service providers benefit their clients and customers with more personalized and targeted products, services and consultation.