Profit From Our Increasingly Digital World Through Sensors

Today, tiny, innocuous devices are all around us.

Most people are totally unaware of them, but many of these devices have important jobs.

They keep us safe and help us communicate. They detect the presence of intruders while we sleep. They also keep robotic vacuum cleaners from bumping into furniture and enable them to return to their charging stations.

In the newest car and truck models, they keep us safely in our lanes. And if traffic suddenly slows, they keep us from rear-ending the cars in front of us.

So what are these helpful little devices?

Let me introduce you to the world of sensors.

Types of Sensors

Sensors come in all shapes and sizes. In general, a sensor measures a physical input from the environment around it.

It converts that input into data. A computer or human then interprets that data.

Sensors have been around for a long time. In fact, one of the simplest sensors – the glass thermometer – has been around for more than three centuries. Physicist Daniel Fahrenheit invented it in 1709.

Today, most sensors are electronic. They come in two forms: analog or digital.

Analog sensors take physical data and convert it into an analog voltage. They are generally much more accurate than digital sensors.

They measure things like pressure, flow rates and temperature. Applications where accuracy is important use this kind of sensor.

Digital sensors are completely different. When they detect something, they turn on. Otherwise, they remain off.

For instance, a digital sensor can determine whether a light is on or off. If a light is on, its sensor is also on.

Building designers use motion sensors to save energy. These sensors turn lights off when no one is in a room.

Big and Getting Bigger

Today’s automobiles are loaded with sensors. My wife and I own an electric vehicle that has proximity sensors on all sides. They determine how close we are to the edge of the road, other vehicles and anything else in our vicinity.

And there are dozens of sensors inside the car. They measure inside temperature, outside temperature, and functions associated with autonomous driving and parking.

Our smartphones contain plenty of sensors as well. These include ambient light sensors, proximity sensors, accelerometers, gyroscopes and temperature sensors.

Wearable watches and fitness trackers are loaded with sensors too. They measure your heartbeat, how many steps you take, how many hours you sleep and more.

Sensors also play an important role in flood control, traffic control and energy systems. Industries use thousands of sensors in process-control applications.

In 2019, the global sensor market was worth $166.7 billion. Analysts expect it to more than double to $345.8 billion by 2028.

Nearly every sector uses some form of sensors. However, right now, consumer electronics is the top sensor user. Even the mouse you may be using to scroll through this article likely has one or more sensors in it.

As more EVs take to roadways around the world, the automotive sector should overtake consumer electronics in terms of sensor use.

Additionally, industrial robots are loaded with sensors and are quickly replacing humans in repetitive job applications.

There are literally dozens of electronics companies that make sensors…

But rather than sort through all of them, there’s a much easier way to play the growth of the sensor market…

Sensors on Sale

I’m talking about the Global X Internet of Things ETF (Nasdaq: SNSR). Like many stocks and funds focused on technology, this exchange-traded fund (ETF) has been beaten down.

It’s currently trading about 21% off its 52-week high. The timing couldn’t be better.

It invests in companies that will benefit from Wi-Fi, the Internet of Things and the switch to 5G. These include sensor manufacturers, as well as smart-home component and Industry 4.0 suppliers.

Right now, this ETF is on sale. And as the world becomes more digitized, the sensor market will grow along with it.

Now is a great time to give your portfolio some exposure to the growing world of sensors.

Good investing,

Dave

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