2019 Sensors Expo and Conference

The Sensors Expo and Conference is held annually at the San Jose McEnery Conventional Center. This year, over 7000 attendees and 300 exhibitions met, networked, learned and shared the latest sensor technology and applications on June 26th and 27th.

Sensors are the core elements for Internet of Things (IoT). They can be embedded in new hardware equipment; i.e. a green field, or attached to the existing ones; i.e. a brown field, in order to collect, exchange, and analyze data. They are embedded within airplanes, cars, medical devices, industry production lines, health care or lab equipment, wearables, mobile devices, oil refineries, and heavy machinery. Their missions can be critical; for example, 737 MAX faulty sensor caused the system to push down the jet’s nose, consequently costing 346 lives in two separate crashes.

During the Expo, I learned that Smart sensors can even calculate position data without GPS/GNSS, thereby reducing power consumption. I also learned how embedded intelligence is achieved, using MEMs sensors to turn warbles into users’ daily companions through ultra-low power, high accuracy, small size and smart integration [1].

In another session, I discovered that SST Wireless designed and implemented quite a few industry sensors, including the Duo pressure and temperature sensor to support sewer operational efficiency by monitoring the pressure readings of the pumps to identify where clogs are forming as a result of the grease from restaurant dishes [2].

In 2025, half of the world population will be living in water-stress areas. There is presently work being conducted on smart sensor platforms for real-time water monitoring, detecting heavy-metals pollutions or even bacteria [3]. There are also sensors monitoring the air quality, but a lack of standards has led to poor performance of the sensors (an issue that is currently being addressed) [4].

A new open specification initiative is underway to achieve plug-and-plan interoperability for Industrial IoT. There was a session described the effort on security, open standards interoperability, and leveraging existing interfaces for the initiative[5].

With the rapid growth of IoT, sensors have gained more traction than ever—in some cases, life or death. At the same time, the improvement of sensors technology creates many more opportunities for smart systems and applications from consumer goods to industrial usages and from smart buildings to smart cities.

This was a very informative expo and in the next blog, I will share the pre-conference learning.

[1] A session of MEMS “A Dive into the Latest MEMS Pressure Sensors for Wearable & IoT Applications” by Jay Esfandyari.

[2] A session of Wireless industrial Sensors: A journey of Innovation & Discovery by Christopher Chong.

[3] The internet of Water: Insights in Water Quality Using Larget-scale sensor networks by Marcel Zevenbergen

[4] Measuring Air Quality: Solutions and Pitfalls in Particulate Sensors by David Pariseau

[5] Moving toward Industrial IoT Plus & Play: Standards Advancement for IoT Sensors by Doug Sandy

Wireless – A Vibrant and Growing Marketplace

Wireless is a vibrant world. I have been in this industry since 1992 and have never been bored with its rapid development.

My dad is 88 year old. Last year, I gave him my iPhone 4S so that we could do FaceTime. It has been a good experience which has made communication easier. Last month, his car was hit by another car. When I was notified, I rushed to the scene. He showed me the pictures he took with his phone. I was surprised that he remembered how to use the phone camera. Cell phones surely become a part of our everyday life.

My friend’s teen has ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). He lost 3 trumpets this school year, but he didn’t lose his cell phone. We joked about it as I recalled that none of my three kids ever lost their phones either. Apparently, they were all intimately attached to their cell phones.

CTIA posted an analytics report last week that revealed some interesting data:

  • In 2014, the wireless industry generated $194.8 billion of domestic economic value (excluding imports and exports) in the US, up 34% from 2011.
  • In 2014, the wireless industry generated $282.1 billion in US GDP, up 44% from 2011.
  • The overall annual wireless consumer surplus in the US today is $640.9 billion.

There are 7 distinct groups of players in the industry according to the report:

  • Manufacturers that create, engineer and manufacture the devices
  • Wireless operators that sell and deliver services to users
  •  Retailers and third-party dealers that brings products to the public
  • Ad agencies that market products and services
  • Suppliers of equipment and services that provide hardware and know how
  • App providers that create a variety of apps engineered just for mobile devices
  • The on-demand economy

The wireless industry accounts directly for more than 4.6 million jobs and an induced employment of more than 7.0 million using the multiplier effect.

If you are interested in investing in the industry, check out this report “The Wireless Industry: Revisiting Spectrum, The Essential Engine of US Economic growth”  and familiarize yourself with the capacity and impact of this industry. If you are in your MBA program, the value chain model covered in the report could be an interesting case study.

[This was originally posted on Linkedin on 4-15-16]