The Embedded Technology 2012 trade show held recently in Yokohama, Japan, focused on five smart technologies: energy, healthcare, agriculture, automotive, and transportation systems, as well as mobile and cloud computing.
The show floor bristled with sensors that can go into virtually anywhere, from shoes and cars to the water standing in rice fields.
Anticipating a world of ubiquitous sensors and connected networks, vendors demonstrated solutions that addressed such fundamental questions as:
How will new sensors be powered?
How do we build systems that can handle multiple sensors in parallel?
How quickly can we design and tune different analog front-end circuits specific to each type of sensor?
What protocols are necessary for sensors to communicate among themselves?
And, at what frequency range can sensors be wirelessly connected?
Below are a dozen examples of the devices, embedded systems, and applications that are making sensors ubiquitous. Click on the photo to start the slideshow.
Murata Manufacturing showed off a running shoe embedded with clear piezo film devices and a Bluetooth smart module. Five small patches of piezo film placed on the sole can detect friction and foot movement inside the "smart" shoe, allowing it to measure and help regulate the user’s walking or running habits.
Rob, I agree. These slides were quite interesting regarding the seamless applications sensors are being used in. I was quite intrigued with Renesas Electronics analog front end system to tune sensors aided by a microcontroller. I was trying to determine how the robotic mobile platform demonstrated this unique sensor tuning feature.
Although the technology isn't new, it's great to see modern abd creative uses in on place. I love the LED bicycle. With a strong bike-culture and longer nights coming, I wish those were on the roads here in San Francisco.
I agree Nadine. Networked sensors have been deployed in plants for years. They're getting more and more intelligent. Younger plant engineers are turning to the sensors to read the health of the plant. The older boomer engineers still depend on listening to the hiss and pops of the plant.
I disagree with that perspective. If Toyota didn't take a chance with hybrid development while Japan was in crisis in the 90's, we wouldn't have a viable alternative vehicle market today.
Historically, Japan has spent money on projects to improve quality of life. As an island nation, they're impacted by non-sustainable practices very quickly. Solar power usage there has expanded greatly over the last two decades. It's a loss leader but will positively impact future generations.
I think all countries with that muc debt should look at the future in the same way.
I really appreciated the interactive digital signage. I can see where signage technology will become more and more interactive and use sensors to further identify the viewer in order to provide more target marketing ads to each individual.
Charles, I'm thinking that it is more of a screening tool. Back in my grade school years they used to do the screening in school by using an overhead project to put a grid on the persons back and then send them to the doctor if they thought anything was out of the ordinary. I was thinking that this was a more high-tech version of that.
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