There are thousands of sensors on the market today. The mobile market for sensors alone exploded from 10 million units in 2007 to several billion in 2016.
Despite explosive growth, there are still five basic categories of sensors found in most designs.
Can you guess what five sensors these could be?
These five categories of sensors are what will move your design today. Right now, image and audio sensor usage is more limited to specialists, but as open source libraries become more common, look to see widespread distribution of these technologies as well. One thing is for sure, as the sensor revolution marches on, there will be more and more ways to specialize your design.
Adafruit 10-DOF IMU Breakout – L3GD20H + LSM303 + BMP180: This inertial-measurement-unit combines 3 of the best quality sensors available on the market to give you 11 axes of data: 3 axes of accelerometer data, 3 axes gyroscopic, 3 axes magnetic (compass), barometric pressure/altitude and temperature. We tested many different ‘combination’ sensors and found these were the best value, with stable and reliable readings. Read more.
MPL3115A2 – I2C Barometric Pressure/Altitude/Temperature Sensor: This pressure sensor from Freescale is a great low-cost sensing solution for precision measurement of barometric pressure and altitude. The MPL3115A2 has a typical 1.5 Pascal resolution, which can resolve altitude at 0.3 meters (compare to the BMP180 which can do 0.17m). It has some upsides compared to the BMP180, such as interrupt outputs for ultra-low power usage, and its also a heck of a lot easier to read altitude with a built in altimeter calculation – no calibration reading and calculating required. As a bonus, there’s even a fairly good temperature sensor with ±1°C typical accuracy (±3°C max). Read more.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.