An essential driver for the IoT is the components for the IoT devices. This contains primarily two parts in the development. One is the price drop in sensors, and the second is the availability of sensor types.
In the past decade, the cost of sensors has dropped to about 50 % of the original price point. This has been driven by the cell phone industry, which has introduced a steadily increasing number of sensors in smartphones. This includes temperature sensors, accelerometers, gyro positioners, GPS location sensors, ambient light intensity sensors, and many more. As this is a large volume market, the large-scale manufacturing of sensors has dropped the price of manufacturing these. And as these sensors can also be used in IoT devices, they also gain the benefit of the cost drop.
The multitude of sensors is also increasing. The advances in MEMS sensors and processing principles have increased the number of sensor types available for the IoT. This includes advanced sensors like molecular sensors using spectroscopy, air quality sensors, inclinometers with high precision air pressure sensors, LiDAR using laser mapping of flows and surfaces, and fingerprint sensors. One particularly interesting type of sensors is the processing of sound and vision sensors, i.e. microphones and cameras. In the data streams from these sensors, patterns can be detected to “sense” the presence of objects or events. For instance, by analyzing the audio recorded by a microphone, it is possible to detect sirens, bird tweets and traffic noise, which can be used to sense the presence of ambulances, birds, or the number of cars driving by, all based on deductive sensing principles. Even further, by analyzing the change in the pitch of the sound as the ambulance drives by (the doppler shift), the speed of the ambulance can also be detected.