What is Sensor Technology?

A Sensor is a device, which responds to an input quantity by generating a functionally related output usually in the form of an electrical or optical signal.

During the past two decades, there has been an unprecedented growth in the number of products and services, which utilise information gained by monitoring and measuring using different types of sensors. The development of sensors to meet the need is referred to as sensor technology and is applicable in a very broad domain including the environment, medicine, commerce and industry. Governments and policy makers throughout the work are realising the potential benefits of encouraging the growth in sensor technology not only as a result of new technological trends, and hence new products, for the indigenous industry to effect improved product quality and efficiency by broadening the level of control over their processes, but also in support of the implementation and enforcement of government legislation on environmental and safety issues. Such awareness has been copiously demonstrated in the recent UK national Technology Foresight exercise conducted to examine potential opportunities and to promote wealth creation and enhance quality. Through the 15 independent Technology Foresight panels, covering a wide range of industrial sectors, the worldwide need for sensor technology was reinforced. In 13 out of 15 panels, sensor technology was seen as an integral element in the overall development of products and services. In fact it emerged as the key technology to support a wide variety of research and industrial applications.