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SENSORS AND IOT: NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON’T
Despite the empirical shift to all things digital, one can’t help but still marvel with amazement when peering into the inner workings of a finely crafted Swiss watch. It’s almost as if the smallest of parts are somehow alive, with the rhythmic sound of their movement as steady as a heartbeat. The evolution of watchmaking to leverage the concepts of miniaturization is still impressive in its ingenuity and convenience. After all, who could possibly carry around a clock tower to tell time? The proliferation of wireless electronic sensors in our everyday lives is a similar, and still new, concept. Sensors that connect, transmit and receive data over the internet belong to the family of devices called the “Internet of Things,” or IoT. Early prototypes of IoT sensors could be compared to a clock tower in relation to a watch. For example, early versions of environmental gas sensors were nearly the size of a shoe box with large antennas sticking out, resembling a large spider attached to a wall. Many units required an electrician’s services to wire in power.
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