Researchers at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in Netherlands have developed the world’s smallest temperature sensor. This sensor is as small as a grain of sand. It measures 2 square millimeters and weights only 1.6 millicgrammes. The current range of the sensor is only 2.5 centimeters but researchers are confident that they can increase the range to 1 meter within the next year and ultimately to 5 meters at which point it will be logistically viable.
The best thing about this sensor is that it does not use any wire or battery as a power source. Instead it has a specially designed router which sends energy signal to the sensors and using antenna the sensors can utilize this energy to keep functioning. The routers focus the signal at the sensors hence very little power is wasted and the sensors of course operate on very little power.
According to Peter Baltus, a professor of Wireless Technology at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), said that the sensors can work from beneath paint, concrete, plaster etc. Hence smart homes can have the sensors painted inside the wall and still get the requisite information. Based on the temperature measurements, the sensors send slightly differing signals to the router which can then read the temperature details accurately.
Professor Baltus said that the future application for this type of sensor is manifolds. Apart from temperature reading, they can be used in smart homes to identify when someone is in the room and control temperature, power and humidity accordingly. They may also find use in smart identification and digital payment systems.