Sensor Tech isn’t yet ready to Power the ‘Wearable Internet’

By Ajay Kadkol - 05 Apr '16 15:54PM

Powered by your body heat, solar panels or an electromagnetic charger, sensors would capture information both about you and everything around you. From knowing your heart rate, location, direction you're proceeding, outside temperature and activities also your weight, sensors would know all about you.

In the future, instead of carrying around your favorite technology like you do with your smartphone, your must-have technology may be completely into your body. However, sensor technology isn't yet up to the mark right now. Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins told IT world that the number of devices connected to the "Internet of Things" will rise from 50 billion to 500 billion in a decade. The same people also ignored that sensors aren't yet competitive enough or even good or tiny and cheap to make it into reality and it might take more time than expected.

With the pricing of sensors has dropped 200 times over the last two decades,some sensors are one-tenth the price they were just four years ago, despite having vastly improved their function. This is why it's easy for people to think sensors will get cheaper. But a lot of sensors are still expensive, and many of them don't perform as well as they should.

 There are hundreds of different sensors whose prices needs to drop to 10 cents for the wearable Internet to reach its full potential. Accelerometers used to be the size of a human thumb and costed about $25. Now a millimeter square cost 10 cents and also perform better than the thumb-sized version. The 10-cent compass in your smartphone is navigation-grade, meaning it is about as good as the compass in an airplane cockpit.Medical sensors are also in their infancy.

Sensors are unlike other smartphone components where you cannot outsource manufacturing to other nations just to have them cheaper but they solely rely on technological innovation. Since more sensors are analog, they need to convert their readings to digital so that it can be shared. Since these are innovated by highly paid engineering, master engineers with a PhD, they cannot come cheap.

The sensor section is also highly diversified since each entity relies on different technology. Ranging from chemical to physical and medical, each of these have their own sensors, it takes a lot of research and innovation to have them work upon. These are some problems that need to be solved before reaching the required potential for wearable internet and while there are problems like these it might take a while. But the change is real, it has already started with smartwatches and wearable technology is only about less than a decade away.

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