This technology consists of an array of sensors, each treated with one of a variety of receptors, causing each sensor to respond electrically to a given vapor in a unique fashion. The combination of all signals produced by the sensor array generates a characteristic digital signature for a given vapor. The system is trained to recognize a digital signature of interest in a vapor compound under test. This type of device is sometimes referred to as an "electronic nose," due to its operational similarity to a biological nose.
Electronic noses have been used in such diverse applications as providing early diagnostics in healthcare by detecting vapor signatures of bacteria in breath, monitoring and reducing pollutants in the environment, providing early detection and forensic analysis for security, reducing pollution by improving efficiency in transport, and monitoring food quality. However, these systems are expensive and require extensive specialized training for proper use. SensorBit’s technology is conducive to low-cost manufacturing of systems that require no training, thereby enabling widespread access to the product.
It is the intention of the company to utilize this technology for sensor integration into cell phones and other portable devices, as well as the construction of small portable self-contained units in forms such as badges, buttons, and tags. Though widespread applications for such devices do not yet comprise a substantial existing market, the company has identified significant interest in the emerging markets for "the Internet of Things" that sense their environment and communicate with each other. Specific identified markets include outdoor air quality, indoor air quality, forest fire detection, breath analysis, food transportation, and hygeniene. In total, the company estimates an addressable market of about 1 billion units. According to the current development schedule, initial commercial devices will be available in about 18 months.