At last week's Sensors Expo, we gathered together to learn and connect with our peers and to find out who had won the annual Best of Sensors Expo Awards. Where the original incarnation of the Best of Sensors Expo Award program recognized novel products; this year saw us expanding the awards program to consider both novel sensor applications with the Application Award and the engineers who continually advance the sensor industry through their efforts with the Engineers of the Year Award. The winners exemplify the qualities that make the sensor industry such a vibrant and robust one; let me introduce you to them!
This year's judges included Melanie Martella, Executive Editor, Sensors; Karen Lightman, MEMS Industry Group; Dr. Sergey Yurish, International Frequency Sensor Association and the Sensors Web Portal; and Randy Frank, Randy Frank & Associates.
Engineers of the Year Award
This award is for engineering teams who have provided an outstanding contribution to the sensors industry, either through the development of sensor technology or by its application to address real-world problems. The 2013 Best of Sensors Expo Engineers of the Year Award goes to Kenneth Foust, Sensor Technologist, Intel Corp. and Carlos Puig, Principal Engineer, Qualcomm for the creation of the Standardized Performance Parameter Definitions. This effort provides a standard for specifying sensor performance for the sensors most commonly used in consumer devices, providing the people incorporating these sensors into their end devices with an easier way to compare product specifications and thus ease integration.
The Gold Application Award goes to the Sensor Web Enablement initiative from the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). This initiative standardizes Web service interfaces and data encodings that can be used as building blocks for a World Wide Sensor Web, enabling diverse sensors to be accessed in an interoperable, platform-independent, and uniform way for use in diverse applications, including disaster management, remote sensing, environmental monitoring, and public safety.
The Silver Application Award goes to the S3 from SENSUSS, a wireless helmet-mounted impact logger that transmits data to the Eurotech Everyware Cloud where it can be used to provide immediate information on the impact levels experienced by an athlete to coaches, doctors, and parents.
The Bronze Application Award goes to the VERASENSE Knee System from OrthoSensor Inc. that provides sensor-based information to surgeons performing total knee replacements so that they can assess during surgery the loads experienced by the knee and how those loads are aligned, resulting in a much stabler post-operative joint.
An Honorable Mention goes to the Thin Film Heat Flux Sensor For Measuring Film Coefficient of Rubber Components of a Rolling Tire from The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and NASA-Glenn Research Center. The heat flux sensor they've developed is thin, fast, and gives real-time heat-flux data for a tire as it is moving; it can also be used by NASA to test the thermal control in its advanced multi-use Extravehicular Activity pressure suits for future lunar missions.
The first Gold Innovation Award goes to Kionix Inc. for its KMX61G integrated accelerometer and magnetometer that provides a lower-power alternative to a gyroscope and providing lower-power emulated gyroscope outputs for use in power-constrained devices.
The second Gold Innovation Award goes to ams AG for its SL13A NFC Sensor Tag IC, a combination NFC/RFID tag that incorporates sensors. The incorporation of NFC functionality enables asset tracking without having to invest in RFID infrastructure. As long as you have an NFC-enabled device and the appropriate app, you can read the tag.
The Silver Innovation Award goes to LORD MicroStrain Sensing Systems for its MathEngine cloud-based sensor data analysis and alerting technology for asset monitoring applications.
The Bronze Innovation Award goes to LeddarTech for its Leddar LED-based 3D detection platform, Model 75B0003-1. This LED-based 3D sensing technology has a range to 50 m and provides an alternative to other ranging technologies.
Innovation Award Honorable Mentions go to MultiDimension Technology Co. Ltd. For its MMS2A1H ultra-low-power omnipolar TMR magnetic switch and to COTO Technology Inc. for its RedRock RS-A-2505 MEMS-based magnetic switch.
Many congratulations to all our winners!