In essence, it is a metal detector on a chip, with a digital interface so it needs to run with a MPU to get much out of it. Current consumption is under 10mA.
TI seems to envisage close proximity sensing down to micrometres, but I wonder if there are macro-scale possibilities too?
Element 14 mentions metal detection in passing:
"Common applications of inductive sensors include automobiles, traffic lights, metal detectors, medical devices, computers, an array of consumer electronics and a variety of automated industrial processes. One proposal seeks to use inductive sensing to analyse traffic patterns, while another will use the technology to ensure metals used in building construction are safe. Inductive sensing can measure the position, motion, or composition of a metal or conductive target, as well as detect the compression, extension or twist of a spring."
Anyway, the global competition is called the Inductive Sensing Challenge.
Submit ideas before April 14.
Webinar on inductive sensing and LDC1000: Wed 09apr 3pm GMT