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Sensors, Everywhere

Photonics Spectra
May 2013
Karen A. Newman, Group Publisher, karen.newman@photonics.com

The image sensor market could reach $10.75 billion by 2018, according to a new report from MarketsandMarkets. The report says that image sensors have shown recent steady growth across a number of industries, with major applications in the consumer, automotive, surveillance and medical segments. Huge demand for mobile phones with cameras has driven consumer segments to the top of the leaderboard, and the continuous automation of manual processes in factories has increased demand, the market research firm reports.

In terms of volume, the organization estimates that the total number of image sensors shipped in 2013 will reach 1.6 billion, and that the number will grow to 3 billion by 2018.

Optical sensors figure into this issue of Photonics Spectra with an examination of the impact of trilinear cameras on high-speed color imaging employing a variety of sensors for use in machine vision. “Industrial line-scan color cameras, using either charge-coupled device (CCD) or complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) sensors, have been widely used in print inspection, check scanning, electronics manufacturing, food sorting, transportation safety and many other applications,” writes the author, Xing-Fei He of Teledyne Dalsa Inc. In these applications, trilinear color cameras offer an attractive performance-to-cost ratio.

Read our cover story, “Trilinear Cameras Offer High-Speed Color Imaging Solutions,” beginning on page 34.

If all this talk has you looking for a place to browse the latest sensor technology – optical and otherwise – Sensors Expo is on the calendar for June 4-6 in Rosemont, Ill. The event will feature a full conference program and exhibition of the latest in sensor technology. Keynote speakers include Joseph Paradiso, director of the Responsive Environments Group at the MIT Media Laboratory, and Raymond Arvidson, the James S. McDonnell Distinguished Professor at Washington University and a participating scientist with NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover Mission.

“Connecting with the Emerging Nervous System of Ubiquitous Sensing” will be the topic of Paradiso’s presentation. “Embedded sensors touch every phase of our lives as they diffuse into the objects and environments around us,” he said. “Within the next few years, as this sensor information becomes networked and available to applications running outside of each device’s domain, this phase change will be at least as profound as the web was to computers.”

Arvidson’s presentation is called “Sensors in Space: The Robotic Exploration of Mars and its Environment.” Sensor and vision technologies “have enabled robotic exploration of the red planet and the ability to explore its past and present,” he said. “Rovers using machine vision technologies for science and traverse implementation Rovers sample surfaces as well as the interiors of rocks and soils with specially placed instruments and drills.”

Photonics Media has a busy schedule in May and June. We’ll have booths at Laser World of Photonics in Munich, SPIE’s DSS, Sensors Expo and OSA’s CLEO – I hope you’ll stop by and say hello.

Enjoy the issue.


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