Cameras, the Internet of Things and the promises it holds

by  Radhika Arora  - 03-03-2015 

From Arduino boards to smart cities, the Internet of Things (IoT) has completely changed the landscape of consumer electronics. Devices today are smarter, simpler and slicker than anything we’ve seen in the past.

Installing a home security system used to mean spending large sums of money for professional installation of hardware at your house and then signing a long term contract, followed by years of monthly payments. Systems were not flexible, false alarms were frequent and God forbid if your guest forgot the passcode. This way of life has been replaced with a wave of security camera products that can be installed in a matter of minutes, giving you full control of how you protect your home with real time feedback - and all of this without contracts and monthly fees.

For decades, doorbells were critical to house construction – how else would you know when someone was at your doorstep? Now, by adding a camera with wireless connectivity, they have become hugely popular again. The advantages of wireless doorbells are many. Smart video features allow you to see, hear, and speak to the visitor at your door whether you're at home, at work, or on the go.  Additionally, they are often more cost effective, as they do not require complicated wiring or electrical work in order to install them. And finally, they are more flexible and often come with a range of additional features that are not offered by traditional doorbells.

Ever stand in the dairy aisle at the grocery store wondering whether your carton of milk at home is empty and needing replacement? No longer do you have to struggle with this dilemma. A slew of products by white goods manufacturers have introduced refrigerators with multiple cameras installed. Now you can view the contents of your refrigerator in real time and update your grocery list on the fly.

If you have not already caught on, the one thing common in all these simple yet revolutionary gadgets is a smart and connected camera, enabled by state-of-the-art image sensor technology.  Improved pixel performance in CMOS image sensors is reaching a point where the light sensitivity is getting at par with CCD image sensors.  Smaller size, lower power and low cost CMOS image sensors have enabled a whole new class of devices and the rapid adoption of CMOS image sensors in myriad applications has raised the predicted growth rate to a CAGR of 10.6% from 2014 to 2020, reaching an annual market value of $16.2B USD by 2020.

Enabled by image sensor technology, cameras allow us to be more connected to our devices, our cars, our homes and most importantly to people who matter most to us. CMOS image sensors provide a window to your life that you never knew existed.

Stay tuned to learn more about the advances being made by ON Semiconductor in the field of imaging specifically related to the whole new world of the Internet of Things.

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