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Sensors Overload at Sensors Expo: Get a preview of what is in store at this year's Sensors Expo.

Whether it be readings from medical devices, automotive engine parameters, or temperatures and air quality in buildings-the Internet of Things (IoT) has created a boom for sensors of all types.

The burgeoning world of sensors will be on the display at the Sensors Expo conference and exhibition in San Jose, Calif., June 26 and 27.

A number of new and interesting products will be on display from scores of manufacturers. But an equally important part of the conference will be numerous technical and educational sessions discussing the latest applications and developments in sensor technology.

One cutting-edge application for sensors is artificial intelligence (AI), where sensors will play a key role in the development of context-aware systems that proactively react to a person's needs. In a session titled, "Context Awareness: The Next Step for Sensor Fusion," Dennis Goldenson, director of AI and Machine Learning for SAR Insight and Consulting, will explain how the ability of devices to use multiple sensor inputs to improve user interaction and enable new functions will become increasingly important when devices are interconnected, and the way that consumers interact with these device changes.

Energy harvesting continues to draw attention as a means to recover energy to power devices. But with concern over the limitations of existing battery power technology, solar power is being looked at as a power source. In a session titled, "A Deep Dive into Solar Technology for Energy Harvesting," two speakers-Paul Sims, senior product development at Alta Devices, and Aarohi Vijh, head of product at Alta Devices-will discuss the feasibility of using solar cells to power such devices.

Energy harvesting is also the focus of the session, "Using Battery-Free Wireless Sensors to Enable IoT," moderated by Greg Rice, technical marketing manager for ON Semiconductor. Rice will discuss a new sensor technology that untethers the sensing function from power and processing functions. These wireless sensors use energy harvesting for power from a shared data processing and communications hub.

Microelectromechanical (MEMS) sensors have gained usage in many wearable and medical applications. But MEMS is not doing it alone. In a session titled, "Integration of Sensors with Flexible Substrates: A Winning Combination," Mary Ann Maher, founder and CEO of SoftMEMS, will discuss how MEMS sensors and flexible substrates are enabling a host of new product innovations. Maher will look at key system integration, as well as design and manufacturing challenges for combining sensors with flexible technologies.

To function efficiently in a connected environment, sensors must be able to rapidly and efficiently process mountains of data. A session titled, "Smart Sensors with Embedded Edge Pre-Processing are the Base of Predictive Maintenance for Process Manufacturing," looks at sensor data processing issues. The session, led by Jose Vigil, CTO of Alteria Automation, will examine issues such as connectivity, database storage, data homogenization. and AI. Along the same lines, a session titled, "From Sensor to Cloud: Practical Considerations for Signal Conditioning Over Data Acquisition to Cloud Solutions." goes through all the steps of a measuring chain from sensor to cloud, discusses potential pitfalls, and show some practical examples. The discussion, moderated by Martin Stierli, product manager of DAQ solutions for Kistler Instrument Corp., delves into the selection of the correct sensor, proper signal conditioning, and selecting an appropriate data acquisition hardware providing a high resolution and suitable sample rates. Then, a smart cloud application can provide added value.

Keynote Sessions

In the first Sensors Expo keynote session June 26, Allison Barto, senior program manager for the James Webb Space Telescope at Ball Aerospace, will discuss the telescope's design. She will focus specifically on the precision and accuracy required of the telescope (Figure 1), and the active sensing and control system required to perform the ground-breaking science of the Webb mission during in-space operations. Also covered are the challenges of building and testing the telescope on Earth prior to launch, and further technological advances in performance, metrology, sensing, and control required for future generations of space telescopes.

The second keynote session June 27 details the IoT as it relates to another hot-button topic, 5G. Gerardo Giaretta, senior director of product management, head of industry 4.0 at Qualcomm Technologies, will present a vision for 5G of a unified connectivity fabric that will connect virtually everything around us. The initial 5G massive IoT solution will encompass LTE IoT--enhanced machine type communication (eMTC) and narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), for low-complexity IoT devices.


Spencer Chin is managing editor of ECN. He is a veteran industry technical writer and journalist who has covered semiconductors and interconnect, passive, and electromechanical (IP&E) components for years.
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Title Annotation:Components Corner
Author:Chin, Spencer
Publication:ECN-Electronic Component News
Date:Jun 1, 2019
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