Another Sensors Expo, which means another raft of intriguing and amazing new products. This year's Best of Sensors Expo Awards involved a host of new-to-us companies and introduced us to some great new products that met our judging criteria: Is it unique, or at least markedly different from what's out there? Does it fulfill a real need? And does it have the potential to change the way people work? Let me briefly introduce the winners; a longer, more detailed description of the award winners (with pictures!) is available here.
Gold Award Winners
austriamicrosystems won a gold award in the Sensors category for its AS5410 3D Hall encoder. This single-chip, natively 3D Hall sensor can make absolute and differential position measurements and can be used in applications where using 2D Hall sensors was too complex. InfraTec Infrared LLC/Fraunhofer IPMS won a gold award in the Sensor Components category for its Tunable Microspectrometer Detector. This compact device allows you to analyze several gases simultaneously with a single-channel detector and fills a real-world need for better chemical analysis tools that don't have to live in a lab. Plessey Semiconductors Ltd. won a gold award in the Sensor Components category for its EPIC electric potential integrated circuit that measures changes in an electric field—such as those that occur in muscles and nerves—but requires no physical or resistive contact to make the measurements. While the company is currently focusing on medical applications, this technology can be applied more widely. Synkera Technologies Inc. won a gold award in the Sensors category for its MikroKera family of chemical sensors that use the company's micromachined, nanostructured ceramic sensing technology. Their size, low power consumption, robustness, and sensitivity allows designers to use chemical sensors in novel ways.
Silver Award Winners
Meggitt Sensing Systems won a silver award in the Sensor category for its Endevco Model 72 Series high-G shock accelerometers that have a 20,000 g measurement range, weigh a mere 0.16 grams, and are insanely robust. MicroStrain Inc. took home two silver awards, both in the Data Acquisition category. The first award was for the mXRS extended-range synchronized wireless sensing system that offers a transmission range of up to 2 km and the ability to synchronize all data to within ±32 µs. The second silver award was for the SensorCloud platform that supports any Web-connected third-party device, sensor, or sensor network, leveraging cloud technology to make large-scale sensor networks more useful by providing powerful sensor data storage, visualization, and remote management tools.
Bronze Award Winners
Diversified Technical Systems (DTS) Inc. took home a bronze award in the Data Acquisition category for its SLICE MICRO IEPE ultra-small (42 by 42 by 10 mm per module) stand-alone data recorder designed to collect data from IEPE sensor types. Libelium won a bronze award in the Data Acquisition category for its Radiation Sensor board that couples a Geiger counter with its Waspmote wireless sensor networking platform to create an emergency radiation sensor network.
GTI Spindle Technology won an honorable mention in the Technologies category for the iPad vibration analyzer that collects data through an attached accelerometer, channels it through the company's hardware into the iPad where you can view the vibration spectra. Hoffmann + Krippner earned an honorable mention in the Sensors category for the Moog QuieSense noiseless thin-film membrane potentiometer with 0.1% linearity. And finally, Nextreme Thermal Solutions earned an honorable mention in the Sensors category for the WPG-1 Thermobility wireless power generator.
Many, many congratulations to our winners!