It’s a simple word; a greeting exchanged from one human being to another. It only lasts a second, yet in that short moment, the giver and receiver are somehow connected – joined together in a unity that either stops cold, or blossoms into something bigger.
As human beings, we constantly seek connection to our work, our passions, our pets, and especially to each other, and while machines may never actually experience human feelings or emotions, their ability to connect is growing stronger every day.
HOW CONNECTIVITY BEGAN
20 years ago, the Internet came about. It connected businesses to customers through webpages and online activities. Content, widgets and digital tools were invented to bring consumers closer to the companies that provided for them. These tools took on the form of blog pages, online discounts, and later, social media posts. Customers were brought closer to businesses until it became apparent that the relationship between modern enterprises and those they served was suddenly changing. It was no longer about who bought and who sold; true connections were being formed, and a strong sense of loyalty was forming amongst everyday consumers.
HOW CONNECTIVITY IS CHANGING
But now, even this is growing “passe.” People have been exploiting social media and similar means for nearly ten years, and as companies change, ways of doing business must change with them. Ultimately, businesses are still looking for that same connection… Only now through a different route.
Earlier, we brought up the notion of machines, and how they connect with each other in manufacturing. The Internet of Things connects a factory’s equipment and machinery through sensors, allowing executives and those in charge to see what needs attention. In a general sense, sensors are used to collect data, which is then used to improve operations and drive efficiency, but there are different kinds of sensors, and each one performs a unique function designed to bring an enterprise to the top.
TYPES OF SENSORS
In manufacturing, the use of machinery such as forklifts and pulley systems is quite prominent, and proximity sensors are likely to make regular appearances. These knick-knacks can “detect the presence of nearby objects without any physical contact,” so don’t be surprised if in the future, forklifts can suddenly see around corners and avoid colliding with heavy objects, or worse… human employees. Proximity sensors are also used in mobile handsets to disable screens when users are on calls, thus preventing accidental hang-ups and mute sessions.
But other examples exist as well. Interoceptive sensors are must-haves for manufacturers of robotics and robotic parts. These gadgets sense factors regarding a robot’s interior, like battery levels and current voltage, so they know when to seek a charger. They also detect interior problems, so any malfunction or problem unseen by the human eye is automatically located and fixed. There are also other types of sensors, such as wheel and motor sensors (to monitor speeds and positions of common and commercial vehicles), and heading sensors, which ensure functionality in navigational units. There are even night vision sensors, which are often used in the development of goggles or tactical equipment for military branches.
And so… Aside from their many varieties, one can see the abilities of these little “waves of the future” we call sensors are truly profound, and businesses will ultimately benefit if they’re willing to give them a little time and understanding.