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What Does Photosensor Mean?

A photosensor is a type of electronic component that enables the detection of light, infrared and other forms of electromagnetic energy.


It is used in electronic and computing devices to receive input and/or transmit data in the form of light or electromagnetic signals.

Photosensors are also known as photodetctors.

Techopedia Explains Photosensor

Photosensors are primarily used as a means to send or receive data. Typically, photosensors help in detecting change or intensity of electromagnetic energy or signals transmitted from a sending device. Depending on the receiving or interpreting device, this change or intensity of light results in a specific action. For example, when an infrared-based remote control transmits a signal to the television, the photosensor in the TV translates it into an action such as increasing or deceasing volume or changing channels.

Some of the common electronic and computing devices and technologies that utilize photosensors include:

  • Optical disk drives
  • Fiber optics
  • Remote control devices
  • Wireless networks

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.