Declining sensor costs open up new consumer applications


One of the factors in the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT)—the networking of the physical world within existing Internet infrastructure—is the rapid decline in the cost of sensors.

Sensors are critical to IoT. Consider a connected thermostat: Without motion, humidity and temperature sensors, there is no data that algorithms can use to set points tailored to a user’s behavior.

In some cases sensor costs have declined by as much as 100X over the past decade. One of those cases where a startup is attempting to drastically change the economics of sensors is in the area of near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy. If that phrase sounds familiar, it may be because of all the attention SCiO is getting.

Designed and assembled in Israel by startup Consumer Physics, SCiO is an NIR spectrometer for consumers, set to roll out by summer 2015 for $249 per unit. NIR spectrometry detects the spectrum created from…

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