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IoT Unlocks New Markets for Compact Optical Sensors

Photonics Spectra
Jun 2017
Life-changing and increasingly ubiquitous, the Internet of Things is about combining and connecting technologies across almost every industry.

Marie Freebody, Contributing Editor, marie.freebody@photonics.com

It’s a complex, technology-mixing ecosystem that combines sensors, IT and networking technologies to enable billions of devices to be connected around the world. On a typical day, you may not even realize the plethora of smart technology permeating our homes, cars, offices, shops, hospitals and cities — from the smartphone you may be reading this article on and the smartwatch that tells you when you need to leave for work to make it in on time, to the smart coffee maker that helps kick-start your day. On the move, smart traffic monitors help ease you along your journey as swiftly as possible. At the office, heating and cooling is taken care of and depleted stationery is automatically re-ordered. While on a break, you may be checking who has visited your home thanks to facial recognition security cameras. And at the end of the working day, when your thoughts turn to what you might need to pick up on the way home, the Samsung Family Hub fridge is just a click away — you can check your fridge contents via its built-in camera or simply access the shopping list it keeps for you to ensure you never run out of anything. Finally, unwind in front of a smart television — or even a regular television using a set-top box or special dongle — that allows you access to the whole range of online services. And when you go to bed, don’t forget to switch your lights off using wireless lighting. The Internet of Things (IoT) is all around us, and this is just the beginning. IoT is primed to change our lives and businesses in ways we can’t yet imagine. Technology companies from the biggest players to the smallest component makers are looking at ways to enhance their products and invest in the IoT trend.

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GLOSSARY
optical filters
An optical element that blocks or transmits a selected wavelength of light. Optical filters can either be absorption filters or interference filters. Absorption filters absorb any unwanted wavelengths while the interference filter will use the effects of constructive and destructive superposition to transmit only the selected wavelength.
lasersIOTMarie FreebodyBosch SensortecPhilips Lightingconnected lightingLEDsVR/ARvirtual realityaugmented realityoptical filtersOLED displayUV filterInternet of ThingsFeatures

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