Here’s How Sensors Are Going To Change Everything

Think about some of the hottest new gadgets to hit the market in the last few years. Driverless cars and the FitBit (FIT) are probably some of the first to come to mind. Praised for their efficiency and integrative cloud capabilities, these products share one common piece of hardware: the sensor.

Sensor technology is growing increasingly popular in both the industrial and consumer sectors and across industries. From medical and automotive to gaming and advertising, many companies are looking to use sensors to push their brands into the digital age.

Just last week, Intel announced that it would be embedding sensors in products as unexpected as snowboards and hardhats. PASCO Scientific, a science education company serving universities, also just released a new pH and temperature sensor that could wirelessly connect to computers, and Ford (F) rolled out its compact LiDAR software for its driverless cars.

Many companies are attracted to sensors for their ability to sensitively detect both user and machine activity and translate that activity into precise, valuable data. With better data comes better knowledge of the consumer, and in turn, better products. This competitive edge changes the way companies understand the consumer, and the way in which we as consumers relate to commodities. Sensors have revolutionized the customer experience to put us at the very center of a product.

“It’s a much easier sell to the consumer if the product molds itself to their specific needs,” said Aron Zev Kain, Founder and Senior VP at BH Sensors in Pomona, New York. “That has really been the modus operandi of all consumer products, but sensors are taking it to the next level.” Instead of the consumer acclimating to fit the product, the product now must detect and address our particular needs.

One of the best examples of this is in athletic wear, such as the smart sock from Sensoria Fitness. Through textile sensors that detect pressure points in the foot and conductive fibers that connect the sensors to the Sensoria app, athletes can learn to adjust their running according to their specifically harmful habit, thereby decreasing injuries.

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Makena Owens contributed to this article.

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