Sensors for Household Appliances & Consumer Electronics – Summary

Sensors used in household appliances and consumer electronics comprise proximity sensors, temperature sensors, pressure sensors, flow and level sensors as well as acoustic sensors, image sensors and camera modules.

 

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Summary

Sensors used in household appliances and consumer electronics comprise proximity sensors, temperature sensors, pressure sensors, flow and level sensors as well as acoustic sensors, image sensors and camera modules. Photodetectors, position sensors and rotary speed sensors are of importance, too.

The use of sensors in household appliances is mainly driven by higher energy and resource efficiency requirements, advanced performance and convenience standards as well as by smarter electronics to improve ease of operation. New consumer electronic devices must be capable to handle media and data simultaneously. The major sensors used are photosensors, image sensors, inertial sensors and acoustic sensors.

Large household appliances are expected to become smarter and even more efficient in their use of water and electric power. Smart electronic controls and sensors improve their user-friendliness and performance at the same time. Smart appliances of the future will be able to start their operation when electric power tariffs will be cheapest.

Coffee-making machines are becoming more automated, have enhanced functionalities and consume less energy than the previous generation. The sensor content of coffee machines as well as of other small appliances such as personal care and beauty appliances is constantly growing.

In consumer electronics, MEMS sensors are rapidly evolving. Analog-to-digital conversion is further on the rise. Modern camcorders will allow for 3D images to be taken, either by 2D-to-3D conversions based on a single image chip or by two separate image sensors. The challenge will be to make these devices smarter and more efficient, while reducing their complexity at the same time. Flat panel displays require photosensors for automatic brightness control in dependence of ambient light conditions. Image sensors for face recognition will able to automatically dim or turn off the screen when leaving the room.

Leisure electronics comprise digital cameras, electronic toys as well as gadgets and watches. Digital cameras require CCD or CMOS image sensors and photosensors for illumination control. Further sensors used are gyro sensors for image stabilization and infrared distance sensors for autofocus control. Sensors in electronic toys may use proximity sensors, motion sensors, tilt or position sensors and / or built-in microphones.

Conclusion

The sensors demand in household appliances and consumer electronics is stimulated by higher energy and resource efficiency requirements, a demand for higher functionalities and performance features and a trend towards digital technologies.Proximity sensors, temperature sensors, pressure sensors, flow and level sensors as well as acoustic sensors, image sensors and camera modules are predicted to be of high relevance also for future household appliances and consumer electronics devices and leisure electronics.

 

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