They provide samples at specific times,
That definition should be made clear in any discussion of a sensor subsystem or API, because there are lots of other ways to understand sensors. The things I use that I call sensors provide samples only when I ask for them, and if there is any periodic sampling, the periodicity is provided way above any device driver.
from various different sources.
That's the opposite of an answer to the question, "what do sensors have in common." Unless you mean what they have in common is that every one is unique. :-)
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