Sensors Expo convention center

Sensors Expo 2016: Clear Questions Equal Clear Data in IoT

Sensors Expo 2016 took place in San Jose, California from June 21-22

LAST week’s trip to Sensors Expo 2016 was fun and thought-provoking. We held a workshop with one of our partners, Texas Instruments, and got an exciting look at innovations in sensor technology.  Naturally there was a lot of buzz about the latest and greatest in the Internet of Things, but one topic that presenters kept bringing up was less about the technology itself than the thought put into its implementation.

Efficiency Begins with Clear Questions

The case studies many expo presenters shared reflected what we have witnessed in our own customers’ means to success: they have clear questions that need timely answers, such as “is this gas line leaking?”. If well-considered, even a single data point brings a remarkable amount of value to their business. Starting small with sensor applications can result in big shifts in operational efficiency. First steps in improving a business with IoT don’t have to be huge, just smart.

Even the smallest IoT application can have a vital impact on efficiency.

A Single Data Point Can Make a Difference

Even the smallest IoT application can have a vital impact on efficiency. In fact, many powerful IoT implementations consist of just one sensor reporting data. One company that recycles restaurant fry oil installs a float sensor inside each of their clients’ oil tanks to monitor the oil level. Their application dispatches an alert only when there’s something the company needs to act on. It sends alerts when the personnel in charge of emptying the tank needs to do their job, and when an unexpected change to the level occurs, possibly indicating an oil theft.

It goes to show that more data more often doesn’t automatically equal better data, and the hardware involved doesn’t need to be complex. It’s all about having a specific question in need of a specific answer.

Texas Instruments blogged about their thoughts on Sensors Expo 2016, too—take a look.

Sensor companies showing off their latest developments on the exhibit floor