As large corporations explore the environmental sensor technology space, growing interest in the ability to measure ambient surroundings is becoming increasingly evident.
Late last year, Apple was granted a patent for its environmental sensor package which could eventually allow Apple users to detect temperature, humidity, sound, and pressure in their everyday environment. The sensor could be integrated with existing microphone, speaker ports, or buttons to capture information directly from air flow. Many android devices already have environmental sensors that measure ambient air temperature and humidity.
Mitsubishi also recently announced that they have developed a high precision air quality sensor. The sensor is groundbreaking because it can detect and distinguish between all fine particles [or particulate matter (PM) 2.5, with a diameter equal to or less than 2.5um], including dust and pollen. To put this into perspective, particles smaller than PM2.5 can pose serious health risks ranging from irritation to respiratory and cardiovascular problems because their small size can travel into the lungs and even the bloodstream.
Clearly, the desire to learn more about invisible environmental threats is rising. And with the Internet of Things, the possibilities for environmental monitoring will also increase and make strides towards improving health and environmental sustainability.
Photo: Prototype of Mitsubishi air quality sensor