The world’s increasing hunger for information results in a rushing demand for sensor data. However, today’s worldwide shortage of components, combined with stocks not meeting short term demand and production infrastructures not being adjusted the steep recovery after 2 years of COVID, are catalyzing the search for better alternatives. One of those options might be found in the use of virtual sensors. Discover how virtual sensors create application scalability, upgradability but most and for all new values without additional hardware costs.
Measuring data without sensors
Virtual sensors allow you to measure data, without the traditional physical components. In its simplest definition, a virtual sensor can be translated into the software version of a sensor device. In a more extended definition, a virtual sensor imitates the tasks of a physical sensor at the software level and thus provides multiple services to its users at the node, network or application level of the cloud.
But then again, replacing all physical sensors by virtual counterparts would be quite impossible. You’ll always need a hardware component to access the data. The real gain can be found in selecting your physical sensors wisely and enriching it with smart algorithms to support multiple applications simultaneously.
A good example of a virtual sensor can be found in today’s CO2 sensors. In post-pandemic times, it’s almost impossible to imagine classrooms, hospitals and meeting rooms without one. However, did you know that quite a substantial amount of CO2 measuring devices is not directly measuring CO2? More often than not, the onboard sensor detects a range of different gasses. It’s an algorithm that calculates the approximate presence of CO2.
As a consequence, IoT solution providers have been looking for ways to combine less accurate (read: cheaper) sensors to achieve a good enough software solution (compared to the higher-end physical sensors). Through a smart design, you get a similar outcome, but at a lower production cost.
Reducing pricing & physical components
It’s therefore important to take a step back as soon as you start designing a system architecture and think about the business requirements of your solution. Pricing is an essential part of your product strategy and simply adding expensive components must also pass the viability test compared to other products. The question that product owners should therefore ask themselves is to what extent the newly added sensor actually adds value to the proposition.
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