What is Distributed Sensing? The New Paradigm

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Written by: Renee Chambers
What is Distributed Sensing? The New Paradigm

Imagine if you could get a real-time look at just about everything happening in the world around you. It sounds like science fiction, but it’s happening today.

We call it “distributed sensing,” and according to Silixa (https://silixa.com/resources/what-is-distributed-sensing/) it’s here to help companies make smarter decisions. We’ll explain what distributed sensing is and how it works.

So, if you want to start making intelligent decisions that benefit your organization, read on.

Understanding What Distributed Sensing Is and How It Works

Distributed sensing, put, is the ability to collect data from multiple sources. It’s very similar to putting cameras on buildings or traffic lights. The difference is that you can now have hundreds of thousands of sensors across your organization transmitting real-time info back for analysis. These sensors come in all shapes and sizes—from smartphones to environmental sensors—and they’re all talking to each other, collecting data in real-time, and transmitting it back.

How Does Distributed Sensing Work?

Distributed sensing is different from traditional ways of collecting data. Think of it like this: before, you would collect all the data yourself—one sensor at a time. You’d spend months, or even years, gathering all the info you needed to make your decisions. Then, once you did get enough information together, new events would happen, and you’d have to start again.

Distributed sensing is about sharing data with other sensors across your organization so that information can be collected in real-time—and in a fraction of the time.

Top Industries that Use Distributed Sensing Systems

The Logistics Industry

One of the biggest reasons organizations adopt distributed sensing is to keep track of their supply chains. Every time there’s a delay, it costs companies millions of dollars. These delays happen for many different reasons—weather, traffic, equipment malfunctions—not to mention human error. But now, with the help of distributed sensing, companies can get a sense of what’s going on at every step in the supply chain. The more data they have, the better decisions they can make about where to focus their efforts and how to cut costs.

For example, imagine improving delivery times for your eCommerce company. You could place distributed sensors on your delivery trucks. These sensors collect data on the vehicle’s location, status, and conditions (like temperature). It then sends this information to a central server where it can be analyzed to give you better insight into which areas of your supply chain need the most work.

The Energy Industry

Distributed sensing is also changing the energy industry by providing data-driven insight into network conditions. This helps with everything from security to meter readings and diagnostics.

Public Safety

Police officers use distributed sensing to monitor their every move and for faster emergency response time. The more situational awareness they have, the better they can protect and serve.

The Agriculture Industry

Distributed sensing is helping farms produce higher-quality crops by gathering data on planting, nutrient levels, weather forecasts, and water usage in real-time. Then that data can be analyzed to figure out what’s working and what areas need improvement.

The Healthcare Industry

Health care providers use distributed sensing to increase their capacity and ability to provide better care for a growing population. By adding sensors to hospital equipment, doctors can get up-to-date info on patient conditions in real-time—vitals, diagnosis, treatment plan—and then send that information to central servers where it can be accessed by everyone who needs it.

How Does This Benefit My Organization?

This new way of collecting data benefits companies in several ways. We have explained them in depth.

You can make better decisions—faster

Distributed sensors are real-time sources of information, which means you’ll get the facts in a fraction of the time it used to take. You won’t have to wait around for results anymore.

You’ll learn more than ever before

What’s important about context is that it helps you understand why something happened. In the past, making decisions was a lot like playing darts blindfolded—you’d make your best guess as to what happened based on data from a single source. But now, there’s a way to see the bigger picture and make better decisions because of it.

You’ll save money

Distributed sensing can help you cut costs in marketing, sales, and operations by identifying the best strategies for your company to follow—and when to use them.

It gives you the full picture

The more contexts you have about an event or situation, the better decisions you’re able to make about it. The beauty of distributed sensing is that it takes your data and makes it exponentially more valuable by sharing it with other sensors.

What is Distributed Sensing?

What distributed sensing does is break down the walls of a single perspective. It gives you access to a complete picture of what’s going on within your organization and in the environment around you. It can help you make better decisions faster, learn more about your business with context, and save you money by optimizing strategies. It is an answer to scaling your business upwards.