MEMS absolute pressure sensor will resolve 50-cm altitude change

July 01, 2013 // By Paul Buckley
Omron plans to release an absolute pressure sensor capable of accurately detecting 50cm altitudinal variations later in July, 2013.

The company has developed a subminiature absolute pressure meter that claims to be among the world's most accurate and power-efficient.  The sensor's high accuracy makes it suited for use in activity monitors for healthcare and wearable devices monitoring precise altitudinal variation. Its power efficiency also makes it suitable for battery-operated applications.

Through the integration of CMOS circuits and MEMS sensors, Omron has been able to create an absolute pressure sensor measuring only 3.8×3.8×0.92 mm, making it suitable for installation in small mobile devices and other compact hardware.

Installing the pressure sensors in activity monitors will make it possible to calculate more accurate calories taking into account the altitudinal variation involved in daily activities and exercise such as climbing up and down stairs or hills.

The sensor's power efficiency also makes it possible to extend battery life of equipments such as activity monitors.

Installing the pressure sensors in fitness devices, smart watches and elderly care equipments makes it possible to identify human actions such as stand up, sit down, lie down and drop down by precise measurement of the altitudinal variation.

Installing the sensors in navigation systems will make it possible to use indoor in addition to more accurate positioning by backing up GPS.  The sensors are also suited for weather monitoring equipments, smart phones and tablets in which pressure sensors are now in widespread use.