/ Sensors / IoT Supporters Envision A Trillion-Sensor World

IoT Supporters Envision A Trillion-Sensor World

Matt Ball on October 30, 2013 - in Sensors

The Trillion Sensor Summit where more than 50 presenters from around the globe shared their thinking with more than 200 executives. This inaugural event took place at Stanford University, October 22-25, 2013.  The theme of the conference was inspired by “Abundance”…taken from the bestselling 2012 book by Peter Diamandis and Steve Kotler of the same title, defining abundance as the balance between demand and supply for goods and services on earth achieved through elimination of global problems such as hunger, lack of medical care, energy, water and uncontrolled population growth, enabled by exponential technologies, which include sensors.

The findings that were presented are expected to lay the foundation for a Trillion Sensors Roadmap that will provide direction to the sensor industry to accelerate progress in achieving trillion sensor volumes within the next decade.  The three-day conference provided its participants with an opportunity to obtain first-hand information on the current and future major growth application opportunities for all types of sensors.  The event is world’s first attempt to provide early visibility of explosive volume sensing applications coming to market in the next decade.  The venue, set in the beautiful Stanford University campus, has been designed to provide extensive networking opportunities for the attendees and the ability to meet and share information with the people who will play a major role in the creation of the Trillion Sensor Universe.

Speakers and attendees represent visionaries, developers and decision makers from global academia, Governments, non-profits and for-profit companies involved in development and commercialization of sensor based systems, providing a rich networking experience to all attendees.  They are expected to play a key role in the creation of the Trillion Sensors market by the year 2023, which will support the exciting concept of “Abundance”.  These include large and mature companies (including world’s first companies who discovered potential for creating trillion sensors yearly shipment volumes in the next decade), startups, university sensor researchers, market research organizations and venture capital organizations.

The 47 presentations were organized in five sessions reflecting global tides driving the adoption of sensors into our society:

  • Market Evolution Enabling TSensors Revolution
  • Digital Health
  • Sensory Swarms/Internet of Things and Everything
  • 3D Printed Smart Systems
  • Mobile and Wearable Market

The first explosive segment for sensors was the handset market triggered by introduction of iPhone in 2007.  This segment is still growing at amazing pace, with 47% growth of smart phones in Q2 of 2013 (per Gartner), with a continuously increasing number of sensors per handset (Samsung Galaxy 4S introduced pressure and humidity sensors, and iPhone 5S introduced fingerprint sensor).  It is interesting to note that today’s advanced mobile phones including Samsung Galaxy S4 and the iPhone 5 already have over 10 sensors each.

Multiple organizations have envisioned the potential for a trillion sensors in the coming decade.   Regrettably, however, leading market research organizations have not reported on such growth because of the difficulty of predicting emerging applications based on historic market figures.  This situation is similar to that of 2007 where market researchers were not able to forecast the explosion of sensors for consumer applications which grew from 10 million units in 2007 to 3.5 billion units in 2012.

Continued growth to yearly production rates of trillions of sensors through the next decade is expected to be driven by smart systems which are a fusion of computing, communication and sensing.  Smart systems support multiple emerging global tides including Mobile, Wearable, Internet of Things, Central Nervous System for the Earth (CeNSE), Context Computing, Digital Health and Abundance.  A recent McKinsey Global Institute report forecasts that just the “Internet of Things” (IoT) will add between $2.7 and $6.2 trillion to US economy by 2025, and Cisco predicts that the IoT global market will be $14.4 trillion in the next decade, creating significant number of new jobs.  All smart systems may approach 20% of global GDP in the next decade.

“We believe that new ultra large volume applications can only be ‘invented’ by visionaries, as they can’t be extrapolated from the past.  We thus invited leading sensor experts worldwide to present their visions at TSensors Summit,” said conference chairman Bryzek.  “The time from discovery to full commercialization for new sensors has been reported by Roger Grace Associates and Steve Walsh of the University of New Mexico to average over 30 years.  We believe that accelerated sensor development is possible, but it will require a broad-based and focused commercialization effort, which we plan to enable through the Trillion Sensor Roadmap.  We consider TSensors Summit to be the first and deliberate step of this activity.  Furthermore, we believe that development acceleration strategy will likely require funding of the cooperative effort between academia, industry and governments,” continued Bryzek.

Bryzek concluded, “We anticipate that one of the most rewarding outcomes of the TSensors Roadmap will be its role to accelerate the commercialization of sensors critical to achieving ‘Abundance’ in a more rapid fashion.  The book’s authors have projected the need for 45 trillion sensors in 20 years needed to support both life-changing global advancements and improvements addressing the elimination of the biggest world’s problems, as well as improvement of quality of life and fun for all.  I am truly gratified that we are beginning to see early demonstrations of the validation of this concept through several large applications that are beginning to gain traction in the sensors market.”

Visit www.tsensorssummit.org for more details.

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About Matt Ball

Matt Ball is a former editor and publisher of V1 Media.

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