Traditionally, the industrial sensor has been viewed as a simple signal generator. The application of microprocessor technology, digital communications and fault detection techniques, coupled with increasing demands for measurement quality assurance, have rendered inadequate such a simplistic view. In this paper a new sensor model is proposed which encompasses new demands and capabilities. This self-validating sensor performs self-diagnostics and generates a variety of data types, including the on-line uncertainty of each measurement. A demonstration system is described. based upon a coriolis mass flow meter.