Monetizing Sensor Data

By now we are all very familiar with the term Internet of Things/Everything (IoT/E). However have you heard about Monetizing Sensor Data? The idea could become an ancillary subscription like money maker for the IoT/E and for some, it has already begun.

In this article, we highlight a couple of cases where Arrow and Freescale customers not only found innovative ways to solve customer technology problems, but created new business opportunities using big data created by sensors.

Using Sensors for Data Collection

The IoT/E is creating additional value for end products by analyzing the collected data in the
“cloud”, and processing it with other data to create “information” to solve and predict problems, increase communication, increase public safety and literally thousands of other for the greater good uses. This is Sensor Data Analytics and it can be added to everyday things to provide additional value to any product.

For example, adding an accelerometer to an end device can detect motion, vibration, shock, fall, g-force, acceleration and deceleration when present. These types of sensor inputs are perfect for human machine interfaces. Combining a magnetometer will make an end device magnetic smart by sensing a magnetic field, including magnetic North Pole. By adding this technology the end product has the necessary data for adding “orientation” of an end product. A gyroscope will provide the stability needed for drift free readings and a pressure sensor (you guessed it) measures all sorts of pressures. It can also act as an altimeter in some cases with 10” of altitude accuracy.

Monetizing the Internet of Things/Everything

The crunching of data that is being output by sensors and turning it into information—we call this Sensor Data Analytics—is enabling new business models. These new business models are helping companies provide greater value to their customer and while creating new revenue streams though service enablement. Arrow’s customers, supported by Freescale, are finding innovative and new ways to turn this data into services customers will pay for. Below are just a few of many examples.

Monetizing Sensor Data Case Studies

Making Your Bed Smart

The idea of using pressure sensors and a microcontroller to determine the pressure of an air bed is not new. However, making the human machine interface so sophisticated that it removes all physical barriers for data acquisition is quite brilliant. Arrow customers have lifted the bar on a smart bed. Today an air bed can give the user feedback on how restful their sleep is. This is an excellent example of using Sensor Data Analytics to provide the feedback loop.

In the hospital a patient rests on the bed with nothing attached to them. The touch-free sensors continuously detects trends in heart rate and respiration rate, motion and bed-presence. Caregivers receive timely information on their PCs or mobile devices to improve the efficiency of the care of their patients. The caregivers become much more efficient because they can monitor the vital signs of many more patients at once.

Smart Video Doorbell

A video doorbell is another example of possible uses to Monetize Sensor Data. A video doorbell will let you answer the door from anywhere using your smart phone. It features an HD camera with night vision, providing a clear view from your front door, day or night. A user application for a smart device is included with offering providing the end user with a more intelligent way to see “who is at the door”. The cost of the application and the service can be offered for sale to consumer. Connected to the cloud, and with the addition of a pressure sensor for barometric pressure readings, and an accelerometer for seismic activity monitoring, a smart doorbell can become a very sophisticated weather station. The sensors information it provides could give vital early warnings of significate weather changes, even a tornado, and alert neighborhoods to potential earthquakes.

Advantage PressurePro

Building on Freescale’s heritage of automotive enablement, this next use case profiles tire pressure monitoring sensors or TPMS. Arrow’s end customer, Advantage PressurePro recently announced the adoption of Freescale’s 1500 kPa TPMS. This highly sophisticated device will allow Advantage PressurePro to better serve the Semi-Truck and the RV markets where tire pressure readings are quite high.

The importance of such a device can be underscored just by taking a trip on the country’s interstate highways. I’m sure you have seen the “alligator tire tread” on the side of the road that literally litters our interstate highways. This is mostly generated by semi- tractor rigs where the tire tread separates from the tire due to heat caused by under inflation. If under inflation can be detected and reported to the driver or a central command, emergency maintenance vs. preventative maintenance can be avoided. The monetized gain in this example is lower operating costs, as the tires are not being needlessly replaced due to under inflation, but more importantly, the debris on the highways is lessened, making highway driving safer for all.

Fleet management companies are finding greater service offering value by adding tire pressure readings to fleet tracking devices. In this use case not only is the fleet tracked, but the health of a tire data (pressure readings, heat, rotation, speed, mileage, etc.) is collected and transmitted back to a central command.

Equestrian Wearable

Have you ever wished that a horse could talk? The technology of an Equestrian Wearable is making it so. Served by Arrow and enabled by Freescale, customers can make a highly sophisticated wearable for a horse and other animals. Under the hoof of the horse for example, there can be non-invasive, multi-sensor devices, which can measure weight variations and patterns as informational indicators to status or health of the horse. They detect joint problems, laminitus, or lameness early enough so they can be treated effectively. Similar sensors can be adapted for other animals to complete similar functions and once the data is in the cloud, it can be analyzed.

Open Innovation

This is just a handful of literally thousands of use cases that can occur by using Sensor Data Analytics and turning them into money i.e. Monetizing Sensor Data. Like a rocket booster on a spaceship, open innovation is helping to propel the enablement of customer’s end use products and Monetizing Sensor Data.

MEMS Industry Group Accelerated Innovation Community (AIC)

At the MEMS industry Congress last fall the MEMS Industry Group announced an innovation community. This is the industry’s first open source community to accelerate sensor algorithm development. Its target is to enable collaborative sensor data collection for all companies. More on this community can be found by visiting: or emailing

Freescale is an inaugural AIC member that embraced the opportunity to immediately offer its Sensor Fusion Software free of charge, including the source code. With this, one can download source code for sensor fusion software by searching SENSOR FUSION in the search box at

Using Sensor Data to Guide Informed Decisions

By now I hope you’re starting to see a pattern that sensors today are no longer just about motion tracking. It’s a new approach that’s adding revolutionary value to not just new but older applications as well. It’s a brand new economy with greater data sets that have untapped value. Its numerous sensors for IoT/E applications are unrealized today.



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