Top Sensor Types used in IoT devices

IT news
  • Radar Sensor
  • LiDAR sensor
  • Cameras Array
  • Device Orientation Sensors
  • Environmental Sensors

Sensors play a key role in the development of IoT infrastructure. If you want to enhance the connectivity, informativity and overall performance of your smart devices, you can’t ignore sensor hardware. 

Oftentimes we’re encounter clients who struggle to consolidate the information about all the hardware tech that run inside their products. They need help to cover all the sensors by code and create software that could communicate with all sensor equipment on the very first basic level. 

Development of efficient and flawless software that controls all the sensors at once might be challenging. Thus we’ve decided to make an into guide into the sensor hardware that runs under the hood of many IoT devices.

Types of IoT sensors and technology that powers them up

Radar Sensor

Now those sensors are commonly used under the hood of autonomous vehicles. But also power all sorts of hardware. It uses radio waves to obtain information about the environments. 

The key interest point here is the design of antennas mesh and their deployment under the hood of the device. You should pay great attention to the setup of RF distribution networks.

Then the design of the antenna network should be simulated behind the model of the vehicle to model the installation coupling effects imposed by placement on a host vehicle. The sensor then uses the facia interaction results to accurately simulate the radar interaction with the environment and simple\complex traffic scenarios.

As you can see such raw data is not enough to understand the road conditions. That’s why synthetic radar signals are processed and digest useful data like range, doppler, angle of arrival information of targets.

LiDAR sensor

The naming of this tech is an acronym of Light, Detection, And, Ranging. The tech uses light waves to measure the distance between the object. It is used in all sorts of applications that need precise data about the range of the objects.

It is pretty old technology. It was used in the 1960s to measure the distance between Moon and Earth. Now it’s commonly used in autonomous cars. Although it is too expensive now and presumably won’t be the key hardware that runs autonomous fleets.

Although it is pricey, LiDAR sensors can be used in the equipment that detects very small objects that is far from the detection capabilities of Radar technology. The precisions are the key feature of LiDAR tech. Also, it works in harsh environments: rain, snow, fog, etc. 

Cameras Array

RGB cameras, IR cameras, Thermal cameras, and other variations between them like Night RGB cameras. All of those types are well equipped with the software. It is only the question of integration of the camera’s software into your smart device.

Another thing to consider while working with different cameras is weather conditions. You should closely look at the impact of weather conditions. For example the density of the fog. As well as the influence of lens geometry, outer lens material, and even condensation on the outer lens.

Device Orientation Sensors

  • Gyroscope – 3-Axis Geomagnetic Field Sensor – Device example: BOSCH Sensortec BMM150; While setting up gyroscope inside your device it is very important to create some kind of calibration software that would locate sensor default position inside of IoT device, as well as it’s the outer location. 
  • Accelerometer – 6-Axis Inertial Measurement Unit – Device example: BOSCH Sensortec BMI160; It is a transducer that is used to measure the acceleration (mechanical motion) experienced by the object.
  • Proximity Sensor – a device that detects the presence of nearby objects, or properties of those objects. Technically any camera, radar or LiDAR can serve as a proximity sensor. Just choose the one that suits your needs. IR cameras are most commonly used and cheap sensors on the market right now. 

Environmental Sensors

For convenience purposes, IoT devices often use Integrated environmental units that incorporate all three main parameter readers. Device example: BOSCH Sensortec BME280 it consolidates all three sensors from Sensortec.

  • Pressure Sensor – Is a device that senses pressure and converts it into an electronic signal. They vary on the sensing element. The most common electronic tech is pressure transducers and pressure switches. The force applied will deflect the diaphragm inside the pressure transducer. The deflection of the internal diaphragm is measured and converted into an electrical output. 
  • Humidity Sensor – It defines the amount of water vapor in an atmosphere of air or other gases. Most commonly it measures Relative Humidity (RH).
  • Air Quality Sensor – starting with carbon sensing hardware and ending with arrays of complex toxic emission sensors. There are numerous of them depending on the reagent and compounds they detect.
  • Gas Sensors – are similar to the chemical and air sensors. They are used in IoT devices to specifically monitor changes of the air quality and detect the presence of specific gases with great precision.  
  • Temperature Sensor – such device is used to measure the amount of heat energy and convert it to measurements understandable by the user. By integrating such devices, there are to caveats to consider: default settings calibration, and possible insulation materials around the hardware that could affect the precision of sensor.
  • Water Quality Sensors – we have extensive experience in development of software for water quality IoT devices. There are tons of information we can tell you about such technology. If you’re interested in more detail just visit our portfolio.

Summing up

There are tons of sensor types and sub-types. All serve a specific role in the orientation of smart devices in the environment. If you’re a developer or a company that designs new IoT product that is equipped with multiple sensors, we can give you a hand in the setting up process. 

Need software to command your sensor fleet?

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