The element14 Summer of Sensors was a three-month program to explore the state of sensors today. We chose sensors as the focus of our summer professional development program because the sensors market is growing by leaps and bounds to the tune of $345 billion by 2028 according to some research studies (Allied Market Research). The summer program offered hands-on roadtests, webinars and workshops, quizzes, and technical articles about the newest sensors being developed, and a Design Challenge with four ways to win fantastic prizes. So, here's my scrapbook of a summer of sensors.
We began preparing for our Summer of Sensors program rather early in the year. In January 2022 to be exact. It was heavy lifting by the element14 team, and a lot of coordination to arrange for products to be shipped, articles to be written, and design competitions to be promoted. Out of this hard work, we brought on four main sponsors of our Design Challenge (Maxim Integrated, STMicroelectronics, Renesas, and Vishay) and a big list of associated sponsors (Avnet, AMD Xilinx, Amphenol, Bridgetek, Flusso, MikroElektronika, Molex, MPS, Omega Engineering, AMS Osram, & XSens). Many thanks to all of our sponsors!
During this time, I had an opportunity to go to San Jose, CA, to attend the SensorsConverge conference to tell the world about element14's Summer of Sensors Design Challenge competition and engineering community. This design challenge was really made up of 4 mini-Challenges, with 4 Sensor Kits and 4 Ways to Win some incredible prizes. Contestants were selected to receive one of four different kits, tailored to a specific theme. The winners of these individual challenges will demonstrate the best use of the SensorXplorer, bio sensors, smart asset tracking, and the best air quality application.
But the hands-on design competitions didn't stop with our flagship Summer of Sensors Design Challenge. We also rolled out three Experimenting Challenges, covering Thermistors, Gesture Sensors and Sensor Fusion. Our Experimenting challenges are slightly different than our flagship Design Challenges. Experimenting Challenges ask the challengers to design some experiments that test out the capabilities of individual components. Our challengers create some amazing experiments. Be sure to check them out!
One of the most exciting activities of Summer of Sensors was our panel discussion called The Sense of Things to Come - A Panel Discussion on New Technologies and the Future of Sensing. It was an open discussion by leading manufacturers in the sensing world as they discussed the current trends and future of sensing.
The panelists were: David Simpson, Marketing Director Industrial Sensing at Renesas; Jeff Fortin, Ph.D., Group Technology Director at Amphenol Sensor Technology Group; and Arnout Koelewijn, Product Manager Automation and Mobility at Movella. The event was moderated by Cliff Ortmeyer, Global Head of Technical and North America Marketing at Newark Electronics.
If anything was a "first" during Summer of Sensors, it was the different types of sensors that were being roadtested: magnetic angular rotation sensors, 3D orientation sensors, mass air flow sensors and IO-Link distance sensors. As a group, these are unique sensors all with an interesting technology story to tell. And an element14 roadtest was a perfect medium for it.
element14 published three quizzes during the Summer of Sensors. Quizzes are a simple yet fun way to test your knowledge of a specific component or technology. The Optical and IO-Link sensors quizzes tested our members’ knowledge of these relatively new kinds of sensors available in the marketplace. But our strain gauge quiz scored a lot of participants for this tried and true technology.
We shined a spotlight on new sensing technologies (Ultra-Low Power Sensors, Piezoresistive Absolute Pressure Sensors, 3D Space Orientation Sensors and Sensor Fusion) in our tech spotlight articles. These components are the pinnacle of innovation and cross many other technologies from Industry 4.0, human motion tracking, and more.
The content and activites that element14 published during its Summer of Sensors program would likely fit in one huge book! We hope that we produced them in a manner that all members and users of the element14 Community can enjoy and obtain benefits to their work, school, or careers.