The use of sensors and their applications is multiplying. Current calculations estimate that the global Internet of Things (IoT) sensor market will grow at a CAGR of 24.05% from 2021 to 2026. This rapid growth rate is related to the vast expansion of the applications of sensors and the widespread adoption of the IoT.
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Sensors have been developed to intelligently, automatically, and accurately measure a wealth of data. When integrated into IoT, this data can be analyzed and used to trigger actions in response to the scenarios detected by the sensor.
For example, agriculture is one industry that has quickly integrated sensor technology to usher in the dawn of Agriculture 4.0. Here, sensors are integral to real-time data collection, measuring essential factors that affect crops such as temperature and moisture and helping farmers use their resources more efficiently and accurately.
As a result, farmers can grow healthier, more abundant, and more reliable crop yields associated with fewer emissions.
The Rise of Sensors in Crime Prevention
Scientists are continually developing sensor technology for new applications in new fields, though the full potential of sensors has yet to be met. One sector in which the technology is emerging is that of crime prevention. Already, sensors have been established in a number of techniques used to prevent crime.
For example, sensors can detect gunfire. Recent statistics show that only 12% of gunfire is reported to the police. With such low report rates, criminals involved in gunfire have a greater chance of evading arrest. To address this, law enforcement agencies have installed sensors in the infrastructure of various cities that reliably detect gunfire and accurately locate it. Information is then sent to police headquarters via cloud computing, where it can guide officers to the location of the gunfire.
Another example of the use of sensors in crime prevention is bomb detection. Robots equipped with sensors can be used to detect components commonly found in bombs, such as aluminum powder, nitroglycerin, tetranitrate, and passive infrared sensors. These robots prevent the need to deploy human bomb defusal experts into risky situations.
Now, Mitsubishi Electric has announced the launch of its Mitsubishi Electric Diode InfraRed (MelDIR) sensor that has a range of potential applications, including contributing to crime prevention sensor strategies.
The Role of the Mitsubishi Electric Diode Infrared (MelDIR) Sensor in Crime Prevention
In March 2021, the Mitsubishi Electric Diode InfraRed (MelDIR) sensor lineup introduced a new thermal sensor available from July. The sensor utilizes infrared technology, which is rapidly growing in the smart sensor market, and may be able to assist in crime prevention.
Infrared sensors are already well established in various industries for many applications, including heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, security, smart buildings, thermal scanners, and people counting. The demand for such sensors is on the rise as more applications for this technology are established. Additionally, this increase in demand is originating from the development of the sensor’s ability to distinguish between humans and other heat sources, a capability that is of great interest to law enforcement.
The new MelDIR sensor can reliably identify humans in a field of other heat sources and can even accurately read human behavior, such as identifying actions like walking, running, or hand-raising. This functionality is invaluable to crime prevention as it can safely and accurately track suspects as well as victims in a range of scenarios where unassisted eyesight or conventional visual cameras may not provide sufficient information.
The new technology features a wide field of view (FoV) (78°x53°) and high-pixel (80x60) resolution. These features are the basis of its accurate processing of infrared data. Mitsubishi Electric’s conventional 80x32 pixel MelDIR has a far smaller detection area of a half to a quarter of the size of the new camera. Both cameras feature similar thermal resolution.
Mitsubishi’s new infrared technology also achieves the capture of enhanced images with optimized sensitivity correction and a faster frame rate, double that of the conventional MelDIR camera. Additionally, the infrared MelDIR has sensitivity correction optimized for the surrounding area, enabling it to produce superior thermal images.
This feature allows for the identification of fast-moving heat sources. It is of great interest to law enforcement who would benefit from this technology in the pursuit of suspects, crowd control, and animal detection.
Finally, the technology has user-support tools to shorten development time. This means that customers can use application samples, evaluation kits, reference codes, and application-specific reference designs.
Overall, the camera is one of many examples of sensors being used in crime prevention. This specific example incorporates an infrared sensor, making it valuable to numerous tasks undertaken by law enforcement where human’s need to be identified within a scene. As sensor technology continues to develop, sensors will likely find more applications in crime prevention.
Continue reading: Using Sensors to Stop Crime.
References and Further Reading
BusinessWire (2021) Mitsubishi Electric to Launch 80x60 pixel Thermal Diode Infrared Sensor. [Online]. Available at: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210309005429/en/Mitsubishi-Electric-to-Launch-80x60-pixel-Thermal-Diode-Infrared-Sensor
Mitsubishi Electric (2021) Mitsubishi Electric to Launch 80x60 pixel Thermal Diode Infrared Sensor. [Online]. Available at: https://www.mitsubishielectric.com/news/2021/0310.html
Naveen Joshi (2019) The rise of AI in crime prevention and detection. [Online]. Allerin. Available at: https://www.allerin.com/blog/the-rise-of-ai-in-crime-prevention-and-detection