Sensors can no longer be ignored in current electronics products. The products are getting smarter and take over simple tasks in everyday life. For example, a motion sensor that switches on the light when a person is present. Or a temperature sensor to measure the temperature in the room so that the temperature can be controlled.
There is a sensor available for every physical quantity. Temperature, length, power to pressure, capacitance or force. The techniques with which the measurements are carried out are continuously improved and applied in a new way.
Measuring distance by means of radar has been around since 1904. The techniques for this are becoming more and more refined so that not only can planes or other objects at a long distance be detected very accurately, but the same technique can also be built into a watch. Google has implemented this in project Soli.
Inform or arrange
The information from the sensor is used to inform or regulate. For example, a pressure sensor can be used to measure the pressure in your car tire. The dashboard in your car informs you if the pressure in your tire is too low. On the other hand, a pressure sensor can also be used to measure the negative pressure in a building. With this information, the speed of a roof fan can be adjusted so that the negative pressure corresponds to the desired value.
The information from the sensor is increasingly processed into digital information on the sensor itself. A microcontroller is able to read out the information by means of a communication interface such as I2C, SPI or a OneWire protocol. The information read is sometimes immediately suitable for displaying to a user. In other situations, the information will first need to be filtered and edited to control a process or display a value to the user.