About this Article
Written by: Tim Furnish
Written on: September 3rd, 2007
Tags: electrical engineering, energy & sustainability
Thumbnail by: Charles Beichman/CalTech
About the Author
In the fall of 2007, Timothy Allen Furnish was a mechanical engineering student at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering. His interests in engineering include learning new ways to solve mechanical problems and learning about new technology.
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Volume IX Issue IV > Motion Sensors

Flood and Porch Lights

Motion sensors are also commonly used with flood lights and porch lights. Most of these systems use passive infrared sensors, like the alarm systems, and are often connected to a timer [8]. There are various reasons to have motion sensor lights; they act as a deterrent for criminal behavior, are energy efficient in case you have kids that refuse to turn the lights off, and offer the reassurance that you will never be left stranded in the darkness fiddling with the keys to unlock the front door [15].

The Future of Motion Sensors

Motion sensors are all around us and have assisted in making our lives more convenient and efficient. With the further development of technology designed to interact with motion sensing systems, more applications will arise and this technology will become more common in our everyday lives.
Although some of the basic applications of motion sensors have been described here, the use of motion sensors is not limited to restrooms and alarm systems. With the development of Micro Electrical Mechanical Systems, or MEMS, it is possible to make micro motion sensors that are lightweight and affordable. It is possible that we will see these sensors worn or even sewn into clothes in which athletes could examine their performance more closely or allow nurses working at a distance to monitor elderly people in their homes. It is even possible that motion sensors will be implanted into bones during surgeries, allowing doctors to monitor the progress of repairs [16]. Just as we have grown accustomed to the automatic doors in grocery stores, we will continue to rely on modern motion sensors to make our everyday activities more convenient and efficient.


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