Sensor manufacturers to develop smarter devices

Paul Boughton
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, 'Strategic Analysis of the Sensors Market in Europe,' finds that the market earned revenues of $12.5billion in 2009 and estimates this to reach $19.0billion in 2016. This report covers different sensor types such as level, pressure, flow, temperature, MEMS accelerometer, MEMS pressure, MEMS gyroscope, MEMS microphone, and others. New and emerging sensors have also been covered.
Taking into account the climate change and growing environmental consciousness, sensors that can help users achieve greater energy efficiency are likely to be more popular than the ones used in other applications. In the current economic scenario, the rising costs of energy are making a robust case for sensors that promote energy savings. Wireless sensors, which help save on operation and maintenance costs and thereby, lower the total cost of ownership are also expected to be in huge demand.
Frost & Sullivan industry analyst V Sankaranarayanan comments: "Elimination of battery or using rechargeable battery seemed to be the main focus of sensor manufacturers. Battery-less sensors or sensor products that can work on rechargeable batteries, or sensors that can work by harvesting energy, are expected to find considerable uptake."
Sensor manufacturers will be looking to deal with the post-downturn economic climate by finding new growth markets and applications, especially for the mature segments. The market, particularly the micro-electro mechanical systems (MEMS) accelerometer segment, is also likely to get a boost with favourable regulations and mandates.
Sankaranarayanan adds: "Manufacturers across all sensor segments are challenged to live up to the diverse expectations of various end users and correspondingly differentiate themselves from the competition. As a result, customers will see manufacturers as delivering a unique product that is not offered by other manufacturers."
Manufacturers can extend this advantage by creating considerable consumer awareness about new and emerging technologies such as wireless and smart sensors. End users should be aware of the long-term benefits of sensor technology and its role in realising a greener environment or reducing carbon emissions.
Sophisticated technologies, however, cost almost twice as much as traditional technologies, which deters end users. Sankaranarayanan notes: "Innovation and providing value-added features are considered crucial elements to overcome price pressure."
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