Editorial Feature

The First Digital Gas Sensor with Artificial Intelligence

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BOSCH Sensortec has released the first gas sensor with artificial intelligence. The BME688 is an innovative four-in-one air quality measurement solution that combines gas, humidity, temperature, and barometric pressure sensing with artificial intelligence.

The BME688 is a MEMS gas sensor with artificial intelligence, integrated high-linearity, and high accuracy pressure, temperature, and humidity sensors. It has been specially designed for applications where small size and low power consumption are essential. Therefore, the gas sensor is a compact 3.0 x 3.0 x 0.9 mm³ package.

The gas sensor can detect most volatile compounds and many other gases which pollute indoor air. It also features a gas scanner function that enables the customization of the sensor's sensitivity, selectivity, data rate, and power consumption.

Artificial intelligence is commonly known as being used in large system applications, such as autonomous vehicles and building management. With this new development, BOSCH has incorporated artificial intelligence into a compact system which opens it up to many more applications.

The BME688 has been designed for the BME AI-studio tool. This machine-learning system allows users to train the gas scanner for their specific application.

BOSCH Sensortec develops and markets MEMS sensors and solutions for various applications, including smart devices, AR/VR devices, drones, and robots. The first gas sensor with artificial intelligence is a unique and innovative product to add to its portfolio.

An In-depth Look at the BME688

The BME688 has a broad sensitivity and can accurately measure gases, humidity, temperature, and barometric pressure.

Operation range (full accuracy)









The gas sensor can detect Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), Volatile Sulfur Compounds (VSCs), and other gases such as carbon monoxide and hydrogen. The signal intensity typically scales with the chemical reactivity of the gas.

While other gas sensors are selective for a single specific component, the BME688 can measure the sums of contaminants in the air, giving a more accurate picture of the surroundings.

At room temperature, the temperature sensor has an absolute accuracy of ±0.5 °C. It can be used for temperature compensation of the gas, humidity, and pressure sensors, as well as estimating ambient temperature. 

The pressure sensor has exceptionally high accuracy and very low noise resolution, with a sensitivity error of ±0.25%. The humidity sensor is also highly accurate, with an accuracy tolerance of ±3%, and has a fast response time of eight seconds.

The BME668 supports an array of operating modes, making it easy to optimize for different uses. Various power modes add to the product's customization further as each one is designed with a specific application in mind.

BOSCH Sensortec’s proven BME680 model progression, the BME688 gas sensor, has been updated to offer an extended measurement range along with innovative artificial intelligence features. Both models are in a compact package made up of an 8-pin Land Grid Array (LGA) with metal.

Being the first gas sensor with artificial intelligence, the BME688 is a novel product that is ideal for developing new applications. Not only can it collect data on the concentration of gases, but artificial intelligence also allows for the determination of possible causes based on programs users can build in the BME AI-studio.

BME AI-studio makes the product's customization easily accessible, as the system does not require data scientists or specialists. It can be programmed by specifying the recognition outcomes for each sample of sensor data collected. This makes the BME688 optimal for the rapid development of custom solutions for specific cases and applications.

Some examples of applications of the BME688 include:

  • Indoor and outdoor air quality measurement
  • Tracking temperature and humidity changes
  • Bad breath or spoiled food detection
  • Detection of unusual gases or smells, e.g. indicative of leakage or fire
  • Wildfire detection
How gas sensing gets intelligent with BME688 and BME AI-Studio (long version)

Video Credit: Bosch Sensortec/YouTube.com

What Will the BME688 Mean for Industry?

The first gas sensor with artificial intelligence is an innovative product with a large scope for use across industries.

By creating a four-in-one air quality measurement solution with built-in artificial intelligence, BOSCH Sensortec has reduced the total cost of ownership for purchasers and decreased their development time. This ensures that it is accessible, convenient, and attractive to a wide customer base.

The small size and low power consumption allow it to be used for portable and battery-powered devices, making it ideal for collecting samples in the field rather than in the lab, giving an accurate picture of true conditions.

An example of use in the field which could have a considerable world impact is the detection of wildfires. In the United States of America, over 10.3 million acres were burned by wildfires in 2020, which is the most acreage impacted in a year since 1960. The timely detection of these wildfires could reduce the amount of damage caused.

Customizable artificial intelligence opens up the product to a vast potential of applications. Users will be able to design a generic system suited to their needs and create custom systems to be used for specific cases, even for specific customers, without going through a time-consuming development process.

What’s Next?

The BME688 gas sensor is a novel and innovative product with a vast array of applications thanks to its small size, low-power consumption, and customizable artificial intelligence. It also has the potential to lead to the use of artificial intelligence in devices that have not been seen before.

As BOSCH Sensortec has already produced its BME AI-studio, this tool can likely be implemented into other developing devices. It could be expected that an increase in devices with artificial intelligence will be seen over the coming years, specifically those where it can be easily designed to suit the needs of specific and unique applications.

References and Further Reading

BOSCH Sensortec. (2021) Digital nose for air quality: Bosch Sensortec’s 4-in-1 gas sensor with AI. [Online] BOSCH Sensortec. Available at: https://www.bosch-sensortec.com/news/digital-nose-for-air-quality.html (Accessed on 15 March 2021).

Hoenicke, C. (2021) Press Release: Digital nose for air quality: Bosch Sensortec’s 4-in-1 gas sensor with AI. [Online] BOSCH Sensortec. Available at: https://www.bosch-presse.de/pressportal/de/en/digital-nose-for-air-quality-bosch-sensortecs-4-in-1-gas-sensor-with-ai-225285.html (Accessed on 15 March 2021).

BOSCH Sensortec. (2021) BME688 4-in-1 Environmental Sensor with Artificial Intelligence. [Online] BOSCH Sensortec. Available at: https://www.bosch-sensortec.com/media/boschsensortec/downloads/product_flyer/bst-bme688-fl000.pdf (Accessed on 15 March 2021).

Congressional Research Service. (2021). Wildfire Statistics. [Online] Congressional Research Service. Available at: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/IF10244.pdf (Accessed on 18 March 2021).

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Lara Osborne

Written by

Lara Osborne

Lara has an MA in Chemistry from Keele University, focusing on inorganic chemistry. She has always enjoyed writing, particularly throughout her degree.


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