Next-gen sensors to drive wearable tech in industry, says report

News

Research house Frost & Sullivan has claimed a new generation of imaging, chemical and biological sensors across smartphones and wearables will drive technological innovation in the military, industrial and environmental sectors.

It warned, however, that while smarter, smaller and simpler sensors will drive opportunities for device manufacturers, data privacy and security may yet hinder their progress in these new markets.

In a new report, Next Generation Sensors for Wearables and Smartphones, Frost & Sullivan identified a number of new use cases for companies integrating advanced sensors into their connected devices.

These include their usage in military settings and industrial settings, where integrated sensors can be used to detect chemical weapons and explosives, or to assist work with toxic gases. It said better technology and cheaper prices will also mean bio-sensors become more widespread in environmental work.

Jabez Mendelson, Senior Research Analyst at Frost & Sullivan’s TechVision practice, said: “Sensors have become sophisticated critical systems, which are not just components; they can provide mobility, connectivity, and context awareness by gathering and sharing information.

“Advanced sensors will empower the ‘internet-of-things’ and ‘internet-of-everything’. Next-generation sensor platforms will emerge as the key enabler of product development, innovation, and commercialization of wearable and smart devices.”

Frost & Sullivan highlighted the work of companies such as StretchSense, Empatica and FLIR Systems, which make or use soft fabric-like sensors, thermal imaging sensors, physiological sensors, respectively.

It also highlighted the work of smartwatch manufacturer Blocks, which uses a modular open platform architecture that allows customers to create bespoke wearables.

“These companies are addressing unmet needs and gaining a disruptive advantage by leveraging diverse opportunities in the market,” said Mendelson.