Tech Briefs’ First Digital-Only Issue Features Forward-Looking Insights from Brad Walters
“The human body’s design with its brain, nerves, and senses can give everyone, from design engineers to executives, a good sense of where the seemingly unending sensor evolution leads. This anatomical analogy applies to what we can expect from sensor technology now and in the future.”
—Brad Walters, Monnit Founder and CEO
For a cover story in the July 2022 issue of Tech Briefs magazine, Walters shares his forecast for the form and function of sensors with, Where is Sensor Technology Headed? Look in the Mirror. His article opens with a themed comparison to our natural sensing abilities:
“Our bodies feature well-connected, long-lasting systems and compact centers of sensing and processing that deliver transformative compounded benefits when functioning holistically. My vision of sensor innovation is increasingly connected, compact, and compounded in design and value.”
Walters provides an experienced outlook as an Internet of Things (IoT) thought leader with discerning statements, such as:
- “Eventually, no matter how remote, unconnected machines, devices, and sensors will be replaced.”
- “While 6G develops in the wings, 5G connectivity will have a massive impact on the future of sensors and is already enabling advanced sensor-level edge computing.”
- “Connected device use cases in the military and NASA historically translate into IoT products for consumers and industries. These applications will continue to drive the design of sensors.”
- “Sensor miniaturization and micromachining aren’t new. But there’s a growing demand for sensors in a smaller footprint with secure, smarter sensing capabilities and longer battery life.”
- “As industry applications continually evolve and emerge, sensor designers and manufacturers who act on key trends and needs will be the winners in the battle for the future of sensors.”
Here’s an additional excerpt from the article:
The Compounded Value of Smart, Connected, Compact Sensors
Everything from connected digital capabilities to miniaturized sensing components to a reliable long-range communications platform empowers the compounded value of sensor design and function.
Once again, we can look for insightful comparisons to our bodies to see sensor technology’s evolution and near-future direction. Our intuitive and autonomous five senses connected to our central nervous system combine to create a continuous multisensory experience throughout the day. The most important and strongest sensations typically earn the instantaneous focus of our individual and collective senses at any moment.
Similarly, a multisensor or sensor network using sensor fusion, artificial intelligence, and multithreading can transform real-time monitoring, data analytics, machine learning, automation, and autonomous processes. This powerful combination of multiple smart sensing technologies can help us achieve the business value of moving from remote monitoring to predicting and innovating the performance of nearly everything.
As an IoT optimist, I see more opportunities than sensor design and manufacturing challenges. There’s never been as many new design requests and ideas or new ways to sense things.
Read the full cover feature with his quotes in context and get Walters’ sense of the future of sensor technology here. Be sure to catch the bonus content at the end of the article to learn about Walters’ Law of the IoT.