In this study, introduction of a viable cell sensor and electronic nose into ethanol fermentation was investigated, which could be used in real-time and on-line monitoring of the amount of living cells and product content, respectively. Compared to the conventional off-line biomass determination, the capacitance value exhibited a completely consistent trend with colony forming units, indicating that the capacitance value could reflect the living cells in the fermentation broth. On the other hand, in comparison to the results of off-line determination by high-performance liquid chromatography, the ethanol concentration measured by electronic nose presented an excellent consistency, so as to realize the on-line monitoring during the whole process. On this basis, a dynamic feeding strategy of glucose guided by the changes of living cells and ethanol content was developed. And consequently, the ethanol concentration, productivity and yield were enhanced by 15.4%, 15.9% and 9.0%, respectively. The advanced sensors adopted herein to monitor the key parameters of ethanol fermentation process could be readily extended to an industrial scale and other similar fermentation processes.