When the IEEE and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) first addressed the need for a smart sensor standard in 1993, today’s dominant application for sensors — the smartphone — did not exist. At that time, automobiles were already successfully using a variety of sensors to meet government legislation for emissions control and safety. The opportunity appeared to be in industrial applications. As a result, the IEEE 1451 family of standards for distributed systems all address interoperability in industrial automation applications.
Except for pressure sensors and accelerometers, many of today’s microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based sensing technologies did not exist or were only in their infancy or conceptual stages. Energy harvesting and artificial intelligence (AI) are among other technologies that have evolved into widespread usage and are increasingly significant drivers of new or improved sensor applications.
In addition to smartphones, many other applications did not exist or were only in their formative years when IEEE1451 first appeared. These include smart cities, the Internet of Things (IoT), wearables, remotely controlled drones, and more.
Many aspects of smart cities would not be possible without a variety and large number of sensors – smart or otherwise. The need for sensors exists in water, energy, and waste management for increased safety (smart streetlights) and to reduce traffic congestion as well as parking availability. Smart waste or recycling bins provide an example of the smart aspects associated with one smart city application.
Smart recycling bins
A smart waste bin can monitor its waste content and alert the appropriate person to remove the waste before the bin overflows and becomes a health hazard. In public places such as airports and other transportation hubs, convention centers, stadiums, parks, and even the streets of high-population cities, especially those that provide a large tourist attraction, this means that maintenance workers do not have to stick their heads into waste bins to determine if they need to be emptied.
Examples of sensing technologies in smart waste bins include ultrasonics, biosensors, optical (including lasers), and image sensors. Other technologies include the Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT), robotics, RFID tags, Near-Field Communications (NFC), Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs), and intelligent monitoring systems, as well as compactors and actuators. With the right sensor technology or technologies, the smart bin can monitor mixed waste, paper, plastics, glass, clothing, bio-waste, liquids, electronics, metal waste, and more.
In construction sites, smart sensors can provide new levels of safety, performance, and efficiency. To do this, the sensors include structural monitoring sensors, environment sensing, safety sensors, geotechnical sensors, and IoT-based sensors, as well as drones and LiDAR sensors. Safety sensors provide an interesting example of how sensing improves job site safety. Wearable sensors can monitor workers’ health and alert them or others if there is a risk of heatstroke, fatigue, or other health-related problems. With dangerous equipment in use, proximity sensors can alert workers when they are near that equipment or if they are in a dangerous zone. Even if a worker is in an apparently safe area, gas sensors can detect harmful gases, warn the worker, and prevent potential hazards.
What is a smart waste bin and why is it important?, https://www.smartbin.io/our-blog/what-is-a-smartbin
Smart Waste Management: Why Smart Bins are the Future of Recycling, https://cleanrobotics.com/why-smart-bins-are-the-future-of-recycling
Sensors’ for Smart ‘Cities, https://www.esri.in/content/dam/distributor-share/esri-in/pdf/vol9-issue1/sensors-for-smart-cities.pd
Sensors in Construction: Ultimate Guide 2023, https://neuroject.com/sensors-in-construction/