Sensors (UCSD)

Between smartphones and the Internet of Things, the demand for digital electronic sensors is growing rapidly. Your typical smartphone is packed with cameras, light sensors, microphones, accelerometers, and gyroscopes. The cost of these devices is falling almost as rapidly as their applications are expanding. One group has set a goal of creating a worldwide industry that produces one trillion sensors per year. The Trillion Sensor Summits (or TSensors Summits) are held around the globe, with one taking place recently in San Diego.

In an article covering the event, EE TImes quoted the event chairman Janusz Bryzek’s statement about the potential benefits of inexpensive and ubiquitous sensors of all sorts:””I believe in a world with abundance — a world without hunger, with medical care for all, with clean energy for all, no pollution. One of the components creating this world is a sensor at the bottom of the pyramid for mobile health, the Internet of Things, and wearable applications.”

One of the applications highlighted at the summit was the use of sensors for health and medical devices. These have the potential to drastically reduce the cost of healthcare, from monitoring a patient’s biometrics, to detecting potentially harmful changes, to diagnosing the causes, and even monitoring and guiding the delivery of treatments.