The Internet of Things (IoT) revolution has helped consumers and technology professionals see the value of sensors for a variety of applications. By 2019, a new Frost & Sullivan report projects that the global sensors market will generate more than $162 billion. Leading the revenue stream will likely be industrial control, smart cities, and eHealth, the report stated.
And professionals in the industrial, institutional, and commercial sectors will likely see the benefit of adding new sensors to existing platforms for increasing data collection and utility via embedded analytics, the report said.
"These trends impact everyone in the value chain and demand a shift in strategies to survive and succeed in the dynamic marketplace," said Frost & Sullivan sensors and instrumentation industry analyst Rajender Thusu in a press release. "For instance, monitoring and control using the IoT platform is driving wearable sensors that provide various physiological data and enable quantified self-movement. They provide mobility, connectivity, and context awareness with each other and the rest of the world."
In the near-term, sensor investments will largely focus on remote connectivity through IoT, 3D printing, and improving 3D vision sensing, the report stated.
Sensors have the potential to transform healthcare through preventative care, Thusu said in the press release. He said he expects to see sensor use grow in areas as varied as sports, security, and the military.
Companies are currently using sensors for several different products across industry sectors, the report stated. They have various applications in which they are standalone, integrated, combined, embedded, wearable, and even ingestible. Many now have analytical and decision-making capabilities, the report stated.
"Smart sensors are now evolving to be prognostic/predictive," the press release stated. "Sensors are at the forefront of digital transformation across diverse industrial markets."
The report lists some of the most important innovations in the sensor industry:
- Increasing adoption of 3D sensors and their integration into monitoring systems
- Silicon photonics: Silicon chips with integrated optics and electronics
- Biosensors: Rapid detection devices to address gaps in healthcare and food safety
- Energy harvesters: Micro-energy harvesting systems that generate electrical energy from solar, vibration and thermal energy
- Intelligent vehicles that are fully automated
- Bulk acoustic wave and surface acoustic wave, which will enable highly economical industrial and consumer applications
- Infrastructure and sensor towers: Completely automate building monitoring through new integrated sensor systems
"Wireless sensor networks are the future of connectivity," said Thusu in the press release. "Sensor technology will continue to advance in terms of natural user interface, ubiquitous computing, and sensory tracking. By 2025, sensors will not only be intelligent and prognostic, but also autonomous, self-healing and failsafe, paving the way for Industrial IoT (IIoT)."
As BYOD remains a thriving trend in the enterprise, wearable devices and IoT are also growing in workplace use, according to a Tech Pro Research report, which could have further implications for growth in the sensors industry.
The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers
- By 2019, the global sensors market will generate more than $162 billion, according to a report from Frost & Sullivan.
- Leading the sensors revenue stream will likely be industrial control, smart cities, and eHealth. In the short term, IoT, 3D printing, and 3D vision sensing will likely get the most investments.
- Sensor use will likely grow in areas as varied as health, sports, security, and the military.
- Pittsburgh's smart city efforts include autonomous driving, open data, and renewable energy (TechRepublic)
- ANU researchers on track to designing energy-harvesting wireless sensors (ZDNet)
- Smart cities: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)
- Android tricorder? Google's new app uses your smartphone's sensors to collect, chart science data (ZDNet)
- See CNET's city pad transform into a smart apartment (CNET)
Alison DeNisco is a Staff Writer for TechRepublic. She covers CXO and the convergence of tech and the workplace.