Bosch Software Innovations

Tiny Bosch sensors detect the world around them “Sensory organs” for the internet of things Transport crates that can send emails

  • Every second smartphone worldwide uses Bosch sensors
  • Building blocks for the connected world
  • Bosch CEO Denner: “It’s a question of when”
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  • February 06, 2014
  • Bosch Software Innovations
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press release

    Thanks to sensitive structures that are much finer than a human hair,
    sensors can detect the world around them – and in doing so help to lay the
    foundations for the internet of things.

Stuttgart/Berlin – In the future, many objects will report their status over the internet, and this makes a range of new functions and business models possible – thanks to tiny sensors that detect the world around them. These building blocks of the connected world are no more than a few millimeters in size but hold enormous potential. They contain microscopic structures that are capable of measuring acceleration, air pressure, sound, temperature, and geomagnetic field. Fitted with a miniature battery and a tiny radio interface, these sensors can, for instance, send their readings over the internet to a user’s smartphone. In theory, they allow any object in everyday use to connect to the internet so it can report its status on demand.

Sensors enable smartphones to feel
Known as MEMS (microelectromechanical systems), these sensors are already the sensory organs for many mobile devices. Bosch sensors enable modern electronic devices such as smartphones to “see” and “hear” – so a smartphone “knows” the position it is being held in and which way to rotate the image on its display. Tiny MEMS microphones record sound and speech. The sensors also find application in notebooks, tablets, smart watches, game consoles, and sports watches.

Freight forwarding companies also stand to benefit, since such sensors will allow parts in storage in the warehouse to transmit information about stock levels and location over the internet. Meanwhile, acceleration sensors affixed to delicate machinery will be able to monitor exposure to vibrations during transportation. What is more, if a crate fitted with such a sensor falls to the ground, the sensor can send out a warning email to the relevant company, regardless of where in the world they are located.

“It’s a question of when”
“The question is not whether the real and virtual worlds will converge thanks to sensors such as these, but rather when this will happen,” says Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH. “Sensors, batteries, and transmitters can now be combined in a single unit that is so small, energy-efficient, and inexpensive that they can be put to work in their billions. At the same time, data networks are accessible from almost everywhere. This means the foundations are already in place for the internet of things.”

Bosch supplies sensors for a wide range of applications in the automotive and consumer electronics industries. Bosch has been at the forefront of MEMS technology since it first emerged, and today it generates more sales in this market than any other supplier. Now every second smartphone worldwide uses Bosch Sensortec sensors.

New solutions for greater comfort
“These networked sensors make it possible to recognize and interact with the surroundings. A whole range of new solutions will emerge, offering more comfort, safety, and energy efficiency – and saving users time and money,” says Dr. Dirk Hoheisel, a member of the Bosch board of management. “As of today, there’s no limit to the new applications, functions, and business models that our sensors will enable. We see huge potential here.”

MEMS: the stars of the sensor world
MEMS microphones
Sensors – how technology maps the world around it

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 375,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2015). The company generated sales of 70.6 billion euros in 2015. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers some 150 countries. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development at 118 locations across the globe. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

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PI8448 - February 06, 2014

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