Quantum sensors measure minute changes in electric and magnetic fields as well as motion and the measurements are made at the atomic level. At this scale, information from individual atoms instead of from huge collections of atoms allows quantum sensors to make exponentially more accurate, more thorough, more efficient, and more productive measurements. Using the […]
How do brain-computer interfaces use sensors?
Brain-Computer Interface (BCI) activated prosthetics, and other applications need sensors to provide feedback. Intensive work has been and continues to be done in this area. For example, researchers have reported their progress on an electroencephalogram (EEG)-based motor imagery BCI to control the movement of a prosthetic hand. The hand was instrumented with force and angle […]
How can sensors protect vulnerable areas? Pt 4
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ongoing efforts to address the unintended contamination and purposeful contamination of the nation’s water supplies. Sensing technologies are an integral part of the strategy. In 2023, the EPA proposed new limits to drinking water contamination from toxic “forever chemicals” or per fluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Used widely […]
What are the subtleties of using accelerometers as vibration sensors?
Accelerometers are deceptively simple-looking devices but are complex electromechanical systems. But there are numerous mechanical, environmental, electronic, and application-related factors to consider when using accelerometers. This FAQ reviews several of the subtleties that need to be considered when using accelerometers as vibration sensors and closes with a look at the ISO/IEC/IEEE 21451-4:2010 standard for Transducer […]
When to use sound pressure and when to use sound intensity measurements
Sound pressure, sound intensity, and sound power are three different ways to quantify sound. This FAQ begins by defining each one, looks at various types of measurement techniques that can be used to quantify them, presents a range of international testing standards for measuring sound, looks at instruments used for measuring sound pressure and intensity, […]
How can sensors protect vulnerable areas? Part 1
Clean air and water are essential for life. Protecting these valuable, essential elements, starts with sensors to detect threats from intentional or unintentional contamination. Today, available sensing technologies target different locations/areas to ensure the safe ongoing supply of fresh air and water. Using a variety of different sensing techniques, the key to broad and localized […]
When should passive or active RFID be used?
The main difference between passive and active radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags is the absence (passive) or presence (active) of an internal power source. Because of these primary differences, there are several secondary differences. Understanding these differences is the key to properly selecting the most appropriate RFID system for a specific application. Passive RFID Since they […]
What makes a stethoscope smart?
Unlike the analog stethoscope used by doctors for over 100 years, the digital stethoscope appeared in 1960. According to DataM Intelligence, a market research and business intelligence firm, the Electronic Stethoscope Market size was valued at USD 342.1 million in 2021 and is estimated to reach at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8.20% […]
Smoke detectors and alarms, Part 4
The low-cost, reliable, ubiquitous smoke detector is an example of complex physics and optics made real by semiconductors. Technology is always improving and adding features to existing products, and that’s true of smoke detectors and alarms. At the same time, the “protection” world is very cautious about adding features and frills which may detract, impede, […]
Smoke detectors and alarms, Part 3
The low-cost, reliable, ubiquitous smoke detector is an example of complex physics and optics made real by semiconductors. Given the huge market for smoke alarms of both types—easily tens of millions of units per year for new and replacement/upgrade units—it’s no surprise that many IC vendors offer components and reference designs for this application. It […]