IoT Devices – Proximity Sensors


A proximity sensor is a sensor able to detect the presence of nearby objects without any physical contact. A proximity sensor often emits an electromagnetic field or a beam of electromagnetic radiation (infrared, for instance), and looks for changes in the return signal. The object being sensed is often referred to as the proximity sensor’s target.


How Capacitive Proximity Sensor Works


Different proximity sensor targets demand different sensors. The different types of proximity sensors are: Inductive, Capacitive, Ultrasonic, Photoelectric, Magnetic, etc.

Proximity sensors can have a high reliability and long functional life because of the absence of mechanical parts and lack of physical contact between sensor and the sensed object.


How the Wireless Proximity Sensor Functions

The monitoring of machines, gears and objects is achieved precisely by the IoT (Internet of Things) wireless proximity sensors. Their use in industries ranging from robotics to machine tools, from measuring instruments to assembly lines, from food sector to chemical industry, etc.


Proximity Sensor Image


Specifically, in the industrial sector, the wireless proximity sensors can be:

  • Inductive : they detect metal objects;
  • Capacitive : they indicate the level and the fill amount present in containers, behind coverings. They are used to track all objects including non-metallic ones;
  • Magnetic : they collect the data of interest in hostile environment (e.g. contaminated or affected by liquids) and when the inductive sensors are not effective;
  • Ultrasonic : they are widely used in automotive such as parking sensors;
  • Optical : they recognize, for non-contact and precisely, the positioning of the object.


  • Object detection
  • Counting of pieces
  • Velocity measurements
  • Rotation
  • Positioning objects / containers
  • Detection of materials
  • Ground proximity warning system for aviation safety
  • Determine the direction of movement
  • Monitoring of tools
  • Detection of liquid levels
  • Parking sensors
  • Etc.

The monitoring can be done with or without contact.


  • Accurate and real-time monitoring of every object that may detrimentally effect the industrial process.
  • Early detection of faults on equipment.
  • Worker protection thanks to the wireless detection that avoids contact with the machines.
  • Real savings of resources, time and energy
  • Efficiency and competitiveness.
  • Big Data for studying of business strategies to optimize costs and maximize profits.
  • Easy access to data by PC / tablet / smartphone.



Proximity sensors are best to detect motion. They are a common component in applications involving security, safety, or efficiency. These sensors are used to avoid obstacles in navigating a crowded place or any complex route as it can be the best possible sensor for building maps and guiding.


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