IOT Sensors

Museums Harness the Internet of Things to Protect Their Collections

May 3, 2019

Plug-and-play sensors warn staffers when humidity and temperature put precious items at risk

Swift Sensors, Inc. (, a supplier of plug-and-play cloud wireless sensors systems for Industrial IoT, now helps museums preserve the past for future generations. Museums rigorously monitor temperature, humidity, and light inside their facilities to protect their collections from damage. This requires hundreds of staff hours each year to walk through and record measurements. With Swift Sensors technology, staffers can monitor conditions online, get alerts when readings fall outside the safe range, and devote more time to other tasks.

Chicago’s Adler Planetarium recently deployed a full Swift Sensors wireless monitoring system to protect one of the world’s largest collections of historic scientific instruments. The museum’s new internet of things uses 81 wireless sensors to take 240 measurements in exhibit halls and storage rooms and send the data to the cloud. Staffers can review the secure data on their phones, tablets, and computers. Each battery-powered sensor is the size of a key fob, so it can fit almost anywhere in or near an exhibit.

Christopher Helms, collections manager at the Adler Planetarium, said, “The 24/7 monitoring of our collections with Swift Sensors ensures I’m alerted of any changes in temperature or humidity that could damage our exhibits.   The system saves me 1.5 hours each day from no longer manually logging temperatures and humidity throughout the museum.”

Swift Sensors CEO and founder Sam Cece said wireless IoT technology is an ideal solution for museums. “Protecting collections in any museum is critically important, but operating budgets for most museums fluctuate based on visitor revenue and philanthropic donations. Because our sensor system uses low-cost wireless and cloud-based technology, deployment and maintenance costs are low.”