The things we use, carry and wear on a daily basis are growing in intelligence. More and more, our appliances are able to detect changes in their environment and modify their behaviour based on those changes. Pressure sensors are one of the technologies enabling smarter consumerelectronics.
- Keeping food fresher for longer with partial vacuum
A recent innovation in refrigeration takes a step beyond cooling, and actually seals the inside of the fridge using a partial vacuum. By lowering the oxygen levels inside the fridge, food remains fresh for longer.
- Making vacuum cleaners more effective abd easier to maintain
Vacuum cleaners are becoming smarter, frequently by using pressure sensors. For example, by measuring minute changes in suction pressure they are able to detect the kind of flooring being cleaned and adjust settings such as power and brush height to suit.
- Augmenting gaps in built-up areas
Many small devices now integrate GPS receivers that tell the device its position in three dimensions: latitude, longitude and elevation. Mapping software uses these coordinates to plotthe device’s position on a rendered map.
- Forecasting hyper-localized weather
The use of home weather stations is increasing, as are online services that provide weather information, both of which are contributing to a trend in highly-localized weather forecasting Inside each weather station sits a barometer; a pressure sensor detecting the smallest variations in atmospheric pressure.
- Purifying the air and water
As the population density in metropolitan areas continues to rise, the level of air quality is becoming a greater concern. Many people now choose to use an air purifier, which uses high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters to trap airborne contaminants.
- Washing cloths more effeciently
Washing machines are a major home energy consumer, as more homes move onto metered water connections, reducing overall water use per load is also of significant interest. By using pressure sensors to precisely regulate the amount of water required, significant environmental savings can be made.
- Making better coffee
From simple coffee ‘pod’ machines to more complex bean-to-cup systems, there are two key principles in achieving the perfect brew: temperature and pressure. In fact, pressure is so key to the process, the word ‘espresso’ literally means ‘pressed out’.
- Making cooker extraction more effective
Extraction fans are now a common feature in most kitchens, and pressure sensors help keep them working. A pressure sensor is used to measure the negative pressure produced, and in turn control the fan.
- Measuring altitude in extreme sports
For sports enthusiasts, barometric pressure sensors can be used to measure the height above ground or below sea level, in both air and water. These sensors are used by the likes of skydivers and scuba divers.