SENSORS IN THE CLASSROOM
It is the end of 2015. Sensors are everywhere. They tell us temperature
and humidity levels in the air. They identify how much light is in a room
or the color of objects. They can listen and record words being spoken.
They can see any object in front of them. In fact there are sensors that
can sense just about everything that humans can sense, and more. We
are surrounded by sensors that a lot of times we don’t even know they
are there. They are in our phones, the buildings we live in, our cars --
gathering information and sending it to a computer, which in turn is
programmed to respond based on the data the sensor is gathering.
Sensors are capable of giving accurate readings of whatever type of data
we would like to collect so that we or a computer can make informed
decisions. Car companies have been outfitting their vehicles with sensors
over the last few years. Sensors on all sides of a car are programmed to
warn a driver if someone is in their blind spot. Cameras at the back of the
car can trigger emergency brakes to stop it if it needs to. Sensors inside
the car monitor fuel economy and help one drive the most distance using
the least amount of fuel. A sensor detects if you are not using your seat
belt and will trigger a buzzer to annoy you until you do. These car sensors
have become so advanced that companies like Tesla are rolling out self-driving cars that can sense the whole road around them, communicate
with other vehicles, and successfully parallel park for you.
It’s not just cars that have been integrating sensors as fast as they can.
Phones have gone from rotary style dialing to one stop supercomputers
in a matter of a generation. Phones can detect GPS locations, how they
are being tilted and touched, sense near-field communication, recognize
and record voices, and much more. Nearly every industry is finding ways
to make their products better, smarter, easier to use, all thanks to sensors