Table of Contents
Infrared Sensors are components which can detect and produce light in the IR wavelength range (700nm – 1mm). IR sensors typically have an IR light source, medium, optical components and the IR detector. The medium can be a vacuum in case of thermal imaging systems or can be the atmosphere. IR sensors can be classified based on their wavelength ranges into Near IR (NIR), Short-wavelength IR (SWIR), Mid-wavelength IR (MWIR) and Long-wavelength IR (LWIR). Based on the spectrum band, they have different characteristics and hence different end user applications. The IR sensors are available in different packages and component types like photodiodes, photoreflectors, pyroelectric sensors, thermopiles and IR receivers, IR transmitters etc.
Infrared sensors have become ubiquitous in their usage with home appliances, security devices, cameras and thermal cameras, pyrometers, temperature sensors, gas and fire detection systems, spectrometers etc. Most of the IR sensor types like PIRs, receivers, transmitters and photodiodes are cheap (<$1), but the thermopile sensors, pyroelectric arrays and microbolometers cost much higher.
Increasing demand for home automation products, growth of process automation industry and also usage in wireless communication are the main factors for the IR sensors market growth. Gesture recognition is another emerging market segment in the gaming, electronic devices market which has high growth potential for IR sensors. Near IR LEDs are used for example in 3D range cameras for resolving distance using time of flight technique in combination with the image sensors.
As automotive telematics and driver assistance systems increase in cars across the globe, a potential new revenue stream for IR sensors will be unlocked. IndustryARC estimates the global IR sensors market to grow from around $184m in 2013 to around $455m in 2018 at a growth rate of around 20%.
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