The 2018 Sensors Expo and Conference will be held at the McEnery Convention Center, San Jose, CA from June 26 – 28. It is an opportunity to catch up on the latest trends and products in this increasingly important technology sector. Major themes of the event include IoT, maximizing the usefulness of raw data, and improving sensors’ energy efficiency. These areas are closely related. The essence of the IoT is sharing information among devices and humans: information is derived from data, which is derived from sensors. Without information from sensors there would be no IoT. Since sensors are critical, it is important that they function for as long as possible without needing power sources, such as batteries, to be replaced. These are the themes of the Pre-Conference Symposia and a majority of the technical conference tracks.

One important session that addresses these themes, is being held Wednesday morning: “Edge Intelligence: The Future of IIoT and Why You Need It Now.” Converting data points to usable information at the sensor itself —the edge — reduces a network’s required bandwidth as well as the amount of data that must be stored and analyzed. This can be achieved by embedding microprocessors in sensors. They can then make real-time calculations and decisions without having to wait for data to be sent to a central processor and returned in the form of a command.

This advantage, however, is gained at the expense of increasing the amount of power required for the sensor. That’s where another Wednesday morning technical session comes in: “Review of Energy Harvesting and Energy Storage Sources for Autonomous IoT Sensing Devices.” It focuses on innovative approaches to powering sensors.

Along with sessions and keynotes, Sensors Expo will showcase a variety of technologies from leading vendors.

Here is a preview of some of the new products that will be featured in the Sensors Expo Exhibit Hall.

— Ed Brown, Sensor Technology Editor