Mouser makes ‘sense’ of IoT

4th September 2017
Anna Flockett

Every month a group of start-up founders, executives, engineers and developers come together to listen to industry talks and establish new connections, hosted by Hardware Pioneers - a London based 6,000 strong community inspired to build IoT products. Electronic Specifier attended the recent session ‘All about IoT sensors’ and Mark Patrick, Technical Marketing Manager, Mouser stepped up and explained how to ‘Make ‘sense’ of IoT’.

With the focus firmly on the Design Cycle, Mouser strives to empower innovation by delivering advanced technologies to design engineers and buyers. At their warehouse in Mansfield Texas, Mouser stocks over 800,000 part numbers from more than 600 of the world’s leading component manufacturers.

So what does all this mean for groups like Hardware Pioneers? Well, its all about access to technology. When you think about IoT applications they typically involve sensing in one form or another, and Mouser enables access to the latest sensing technologies, stocking over 17,000 sensors from more than 130 suppliers.

These sensors, and the parameters they sense, come in such a variety of different shapes and sizes and for a multitude of applications. One example is MEMS which are playing an increasing role in sensing. With a small form factor and multiple functions they are enabling many new applications.

Thermal Array sensors are another example. Essentially an enhanced PIR, these sensors detect not only heat, but also direction of movement and distance.

mmWave sensors are making an impact  too, Highly suited to measuring range, velocity and direction, whilst being contactless and able to penetrate through many materials, they are enabling many new applications.

Another type of range sensing technology is ToF or Time-of-flight. Being an eye-safe laser based sensor, they can accurately measure range based on the time it takes the light to travel to and reflect from the nearest object to the sensor.

Additionally particulate sensors are gaining more demand due to the air pollutions in cities. The small size of 43mm, enables this sensor to perform all kinds of air quality monitoring.

Explaining more on how sensors can make sense of IoT Patrick also talked us through some practical examples and where they can be found.

Sensor IoT applications in the Smart Factory include:

  • Vibrations; piezoelectric, rotational and ultrasonic.
  • Process; flow and pressure.
  • Position; tilt, rotation and acceleration.
  • Environment; temperature, humidity, light and air quality.
  • Quality Control; image sensors.

Sensor IoT applications in the Smart Home include:

  • HVAC; temperature, humidity and flow sensors.
  • Occupancy; PIR’s, grid arrays and proximity sensors.
  • Lighting; ambient light sensors.
  • Security; biometric and image sensors.
  • Energy; current sensors.

Sensor IoT applications in Wearable Technology include:

  • Activity; accelerometer, gyro and magnetometer.
  • Health; heart rate and temperature.
  • Battery life; current and voltage.
  • Environment;pressure, altitude and UV Light.

But does also include others, and there is much room for advancements in IoT sensors in wearables.

Patrick further explained that, for start-ups, having access to the sensors themselves is all very well, but in the initial stages of a project,  engineers need access to tools to try ideas out. He said: “You can’t jump straight into your own hardware; you need development or evaluation tools to test your Proof of Concept or product ideas first.” And naturally, Mouser stocks whatever is needed.

To learn more about sensors or IoT, visit the applications and technologies page on the Mouser website here, where the company features content on different sensor types, their applications, featured products and articles.

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