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Without sensors, where is the Internet of Things?

Sun Zhengyi of Softbank once had an interesting theory. He believed that one of the reasons for the Cambrian explosion of life was that organisms acquired the "sensor" of the eye. With eyes, organisms begin to chase and prey on other organisms. More importantly, eyes as sensors can collect a large amount of data. As the amount of data increases, the learning cycle of the brain will accelerate, which further promotes the subsequent evolution of organisms.

The same thing is happening in the Internet of Things world today. It is predicted that more than 1 trillion IoT devices will be able to store sensor data in the cloud by 2035. If there is a Cambrian outbreak, then the Internet of Things will come.

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The Role of Sensors in the Internet of Things Industry

The Internet of Things (IOT) is a huge network formed by the combination of various information sensing devices and the Internet. It is the upgrading of the Internet and the core of the information age. The development of the Internet of Things needs the support of intelligent sensing, recognition and communication technology. The key of sensing is sensors and related technologies. It is no exaggeration to say that without the progress of sensors, there will be no prosperity of the Internet of Things. With the development of the Internet of Things, sensor industry will also break out. Sensors are the key components of data acquisition in the Internet of Things and play an indispensable role.

With the rapid development of the information age in the world, in the process of acquiring and processing information, the first thing to be solved is to obtain reliable and accurate information, and sensors are the main means and means of acquiring information. For example, in the industrial 4.0 era, sensors should be used to monitor and control the parameters in the production process so as to keep the equipment working normally; in the field of smart home, sensors are the basis for the interaction between users and household items (lighting, television, refrigerator, audio, etc.); in driverless driving, it is necessary to collect and process traffic and environmental data through sensors, so as to achieve the goal. Guarantee the safe driving of the car on the road... It is no exaggeration to say that sensors can do as much as the market of Internet of Things in the future.

With the increasing demand of the Internet of Things, sensors in China are showing a high-speed growth trend. According to statistics, it is expected to increase to 593.7 billion yuan by 2021. The composite annual growth rate of sensor industry in China in the next five years is about 30%, which is much higher than the global average.

The development of sensors in China can be roughly divided into three stages: structural sensors that use structural change to sense signals; solid sensors composed of semiconductors and materials; intelligent sensors with information exchange and processing capabilities, which are also the most promising types of sensors in the era of the Internet of Things.

Intelligent sensor has the characteristics of high precision, low cost, diversified functions and strong automation. It is a kind of sensor with information processing function and is the product of integration of sensor and microprocessor. In many scenarios of the Internet of Things, sensors have the characteristics of smart sensors. In the future era of the Internet of Things, smart sensors will be the mainstream of the market.

Development Requirements of Sensors in the Internet of Things Era

Since the birth of sensors in the 1960s, the history of sensors has been more than 150 years. In the era of mobile internet, the popularity of mobile phones has promoted the great development of sensors, but it also determines that many types of sensors are designed for mobile phones. In the era of Internet of Things, the demand for sensing and connection of "things" is very different from that of mobile phones, so it also puts forward more and higher requirements for sensing technology. In conclusion, sensors are evolving in the direction of high precision, miniaturization, low power consumption and intellectualization.

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intelligent sensor

1. High Precision and Quality

If the data information collected by the sensor is wrong, then it is equivalent to the error from the source. The transmission, analysis and application of all the data are meaningless. Therefore, the accuracy and quality of the sensor is an important baseline to guarantee the vision of the Internet of Things. Imagine if the accuracy and quality of a smart networked vehicle sensor are not up to standard, which means that the system can not make correct decisions within milliseconds of an accident, thus seriously threatening the safety of the driver.

2. Miniaturization

With the development of smartphone-centered mobile devices to multi-function and high performance, more components and smaller size are required in circuit boards. Therefore, sensors are gradually adopting integrated technology to achieve high performance and miniaturization. Integrated temperature sensors and integrated pressure sensors have been widely used, and more integrated sensors will be developed in the future.

3. Low Power Consumption

Weibo, Weixin, video and games on mobile phones are all big consumers of electricity consumption. We have been used to charging everyday and charging treasures away from home. But can you imagine how bad it would be if smoke alarms, smart cameras and other interconnected devices also need to change batteries every day? Unlike mobile phones, many devices in the Internet of Things are located in areas where people do not often contact, so there are extreme requirements for power consumption, which determines that the power consumption of sensors is also very low, otherwise the operation cost is too high.

4. Intelligence

With the explosive growth of interconnected devices and data, the centralized cloud has become "overwhelming". More importantly, for the application scenarios of intelligent manufacturing or intelligent transportation, the delay of cloud analysis will make the value of data show a "cliff-like" decline. Therefore, edge intelligence begins to rise.

Sensor is a good edge node. It integrates sensor and microprocessor with embedded technology, making it an intelligent data terminal device with the functions of environment sensing, data processing, intelligent control and data communication. This is called intelligent sensor. The sensor has the ability of self-learning, self-diagnosis and self-compensation, compound perception and flexible communication. In this way, when the sensor perceives the physical world, the data fed back to the Internet of Things system will be more accurate, more comprehensive, and achieve the purpose of accurate sensing.

Demand for smart sensors is soaring in five areas

Intelligent sensor has the characteristics of high precision, low cost, diversified functions and strong automation. It is a kind of sensor with information processing function and is the product of integration of sensor and microprocessor. In many scenarios of the Internet of Things, sensors have the characteristics of smart sensors. In the future era of the Internet of Things, smart sensors will be the mainstream of the market.

Among the most promising scenarios of the Internet of Things in the future, smart industry, smart home, smart medicine, smart cars, smart agriculture and so on are the most likely areas of the Internet of Things to be popularized in the future.

1. Intelligent industrial sensors are the basis of realizing industrial 4.0.

As we all know, industrial 4.0 has become a part of the national strategy. Intelligent manufacturing is the key to the national industrial transformation. Intelligent industrial sensors play an increasingly important role in manufacturing. The characteristics of industrial sensors are that they require high performance and accuracy and do not allow errors in data acquisition and processing. Unlike sensors in traditional industries, intelligent industrial sensors will be used in intelligent manufacturing. They have more stringent requirements in precision, stability and impact resistance.

In the future, the demand for intelligent industrial sensors based on industrial 4.0 will increase dramatically, which is also the biggest opportunity facing industrial sensor manufacturers.

2. Smart Home brings growth space for these sensors

With the development of Internet of Things, more and more sensors will be used in household appliances, such as washing machine, TV, refrigerator, lighting, air conditioning, lampblack machine, etc. The products without sensors will become the main battlefield of sensors because of the popularity of smart home.

Sensors will be the standard of smart home products, such as pressure sensors can be used for monitoring the foam in washing machines; photoelectric sensors can be used to control lights in the light bulb; electromagnetic sensors can be used in dishwasher to realize the movement of water spraying arms, as well as flow sensors, intelligent gas sensors and so on are of great use.

3. Intelligent medicine needs all kinds of intelligent sensors

Intelligent medicine is the use of Internet of Things technology to achieve the interaction between patients and medical personnel and medical equipment. The core part of its work is to collect, store, transmit and process patient information. In the process of image transmission and massive data processing, each sensor with intelligent processing function is needed, such as the MEMS pressure sensor used to measure patient's blood pressure, the thermoelectric sensor used to study sleep asphyxia, the temperature sensor used to monitor and measure body surface temperature, etc.

With the development of Internet of Things technology, wireless medical sensors are gradually developing towards intelligent, miniaturized and low power consumption. Sensors will be more and more widely used in the field of intelligent medicine. According to foreign media reports, scientists have developed a new sensor which can be used to diagnose ocular trauma. It can judge the severity of ocular trauma by measuring the concentration of vitamin C in human tears. Recently, scientists have studied a capsule-sized swallowing heart rate sensor, which can measure vital signs and other data of patients after swallowing and transmit the information to a receiver for remote surveillance by doctors.

With the development of technology, there will be more and more kinds of sensors used in intelligent medicine, but one of their commonalities is that they have the characteristics of intelligent sensors.

4. Intelligent Sensor-Assisted Vehicle

Although many domestic automobiles have realized some basic networking functions, they are not real smart cars. With the development of AI and Internet of Things technology, smart cars will become the mainstream in the future. Intelligent vehicle is an integrated system which integrates environmental awareness and multi-level driving assistance. One of its main features is that it can realize networked control. The key to control and operation is intelligent sensors. The popularity of intelligent vehicles will bring about the increase of intelligent sensors.

In smart cars, the most widely used smart sensors in the future will be air flow sensor, odometer sensor, oil sensor, brake pressure sensor, position sensor and collision sensor.

5. Wide market prospects of intelligent agricultural sensors

Intelligent agriculture is the key to building China into a powerful agricultural country. In the future agricultural production, many types of Internet of Things sensors and related technologies are needed. The composition of the Agricultural Internet of Things includes intelligent water quality sensor, wireless sensor network, wireless communication and so on. Together, they form a complete intelligent agricultural system. Sensors are the first step to realize these.

The characteristic of Internet of Things agriculture is based on information technology. It collects data and makes quantitative analysis and intelligent decision through sensors in agricultural production process. The environment of agricultural production is very complex. Different scenarios require different sensors, such as air temperature, humidity, illumination intensity, carbon dioxide concentration, etc. The collection of these data needs corresponding intelligence. Agricultural sensors.

Sensors play an increasingly important role in the field of science and technology, industrial and agricultural production and daily life. The increasing demand for sensors in human society is a powerful driving force for the development of sensor technology, and the rapid development of modern technology provides a strong backing for its development.

Under the strategy of Internet of Things, the need for localization of sensors is urgent, and the domestic leaders of sensor industry are more supported by the government. As the key of Internet of Things, sensors become the dominant link of the whole industry chain, and also represent the core competitiveness of enterprises.