Cornerstone Of The Smart Home

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Mike WheelerThe smart home. What once would have been chalked up to the stuff of science fiction is fast becoming reality, thanks to an array of internet-connected systems that monitor and control lighting, security cameras, and entertainment. IoT systems let homeowners remotely see, hear, and speak when someone knocks at the door, or automatically turn off the lights when it’s bedtime.

Controlling indoor temperature is an important part of the equation.

As we learn in this month’s cover story from Excelitas’ Wolfgang Schmidt, a new generation of IR sensors can detect motion and presence. This information can be processed to generate heat maps in real time and track the heat of sunlight moving across windows, triggering automatic adjustments to heating or cooling systems for a more comfortable environment. Don’t miss “IR Sensors Make Smart Devices Smarter,” (read article).

On the topic of thermal sensing, drones equipped with portable thermal cameras are vital in search and rescue operations thanks to a technique called isotherm, where objects within a certain temperature range are colorized. Humans — whether missing or sought as suspects in a crime — appear in high-contrast yellow against a gray-scale backdrop. “Thermal Camera-Equipped UAVs Spot Hard-to-Find Subjects” from FLIR Systems’ Kelsey Judd (read article).

Elsewhere in the magazine:

• Contributing Editor Marie Freebody examines how optical sensors are playing a key role in the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. “Optical Sensors Support the Rise in Automation” (read article).

• Following the path of semiconductors and mechanical devices, optical systems are shrinking in size and capabilities and are found in growing numbers of minispectrometers and light-projection devices. “For Small MOEMS, Big Opportunities Lie Ahead” from Contributing Editor Hank Hogan (read article).

• A new design-to-manufacture technique is appealing for fabricating freeform optics. Be sure to read Zeiss’ “Faster, Higher-Volume Production on the Horizon for Freeform Optics” (read article).

• Hyperspectral imaging has grown increasingly popular for precision agriculture, cancer detection, and food testing. Variable bandpass filters offer the advantages of short measurement times, high suppression of stray light, and excellent signal-to-noise ratio. For details, read Delta Optical Thin Film’s “Continuously Variable Bandpass Filters Aid Optics and HSI” (read article).

Enjoy the issue!

Published: May 2018
EditorialMike Wheeler

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