With additional trips this summer, Glaser hopes to create the world's largest sensor network, comprising 7,500 devices that will inform researchers and government agencies for the first time in detail how much water California has in its coffers -- critical data for farmers and state planners. The network will be among the largest tests of a new kind of sensor: one that feels as well as thinks, while using very little power -- a D-cell battery can last years.
Glaser's gadgets come equipped with silicon from Linear Technology Corp. (LLTC) andCypress Semiconductor Corp. (CY) that turns them into mini-computers. They're part of a generation of intelligent sensors whose sales may rise about 10 percent a year to reach $6.9 billion in 2018, according to Transparency Market Research. Unlike dumb predecessors that gathered data and passed it to a central server to analyze, these devices monitor the information's quality and perform advanced calculations.
"It's smart cities, smart buildings, smart water," said Susan Eustis, president of WinterGreen Research Inc. "It's enabling a world of things. It's going to grow unbelievably fast."
The market for sensors integrated with processors will reach 2.8 trillion devices in 2019, up from 65 million this year, according to WinterGreen. Some of these sensors could be no larger than a pinhead.
Linear went into full production with its new system for smart sensors, complete with a 32-bit processor based on ARM Holdings Plc (ARM) technology, this month. International Business Machines Corp. (IBM), Freescale Semiconductor Ltd., Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM), Silver Spring Networks Inc. (SSNI), Sensus USA Inc. and Streetline Inc. are designing more powerful and capable processors or sensors as well. Smart-sensor equipment maker Silver Spring held an initial public offering in March, and has seen its shares surge 88 percent since.
David Fuller's view There are two good things about smart sensors
and all other extraordinary technological breakthroughs that are now occurring
at a visibly accelerating pace: 1) They will improve the quality and efficiency
of many people's lives, often in previously unimaginable ways; 2) You will most
likely not be required to own or use any smart sensors or other technological
enhancements in your own homes, should you wish to live without them.
Subscriber's will be able to view any of the shares mentioned in the Library but Eoin pointed out that the article did not contain one of the smaller ones which has a promising chart pattern - Sensata Technologies Holding (ST US). Although it is approaching its July 2011 peak, there is much more underlying support this time. I would give the upside the benefit of the doubt, at least while the sequence of rising lows is intact.