Wireless Applications

Sensicast Announces SensiNet Open Platform

October 3, 2007

The new release allows the SensiNet wireless sensor networking system to be easily integrated into existing or new products, with the choice of the 802.15.4, 802.11 (Wi-Fi), or ISA100 protocol.


BOSTON, MA and HOUSTON, TX /Marketwire/ -- From its booth (#1876) at the ISA Expo, Sensicast Systems, announced the SensiNet Open Platform, which allows its SensiNet wireless sensor networking (WSN) system to be easily integrated into existing or new products so that suppliers can resell it as part of their own line of products and services. To meet the varying needs of individual vendors, systems integrators, and OEMs, the SensiNet Open Platform allows Sensicast partners to choose any of the leading wireless industry standards (e.g., 802.15.4, low power 802.11 (Wi-Fi), and ISA100 protocols) they wish to use for their own WSN offering, based on SensiNet.

60 Days to Market: Rapid Market Entry
"Vendors of systems for industrial and commercial automation, process control, and energy management are looking for an easy way to provision wireless sensor monitoring to complement and extend their offerings," said Gary Ambrosino, CEO of Sensicast. "Configurable without engineering, the SensiNet Open Platform has everything vendors need to build and deliver their own wireless sensor network system and generate revenue within 60 days of initial engagement with Sensicast."

SensiNet's building-block approach gives providers of commercial/industrial products and services a powerful and flexible platform to enhance their offerings with a proven wireless sensor solution for monitoring physical environments and conditions. SensiNet's plug-and-play architecture supports any application and is optimized for interoperability, accommodating a variety of sensor systems on the front end and supporting a range of business logic and wireless protocols on back end.

Have It Your Way
SensiNet supports 802.15.4, Wi-Fi, and other wireless protocols. "As no two enterprises are alike, no two wireless sensor networking deployments are identical," said Ambrosino. "In order to deliver wireless sensor network systems that fit the varied infrastructure and IT profiles of their customers' enterprises, OEMs and others can build SensiNet systems that will support their preferred wireless protocol."

Sensicast vendor-partners, whose customers have little-or-no IT infrastructure within their facilities, will likely opt to deploy Sensicast's SensiMesh industry-leading 802.15.4 protocol as the best choice for "Zero-IT" enterprises. As Frost & Sullivan wrote when it presented Sensicast with its award for "2007 Wireless Sensor Company of the Year," the SensiMesh 802.15.4 standard works out of the box, with no investment required to engineer the system. Hundreds of SensiNet wireless sensor networks are running under 802.15.4 in production networks in facilities worldwide.

Customers new to wireless sensor networking have been asking Sensicast for a version of Wi-Fi-enabled SensiNet that will work transparently with their legacy Cisco and Symbol Wi-Fi networks. Beyond its ability to offer support systems based on the SensiMesh 802.15.4 protocol, the SensiNet Open Platform allows Sensicast to offer solutions providers a complete SensiNet Wi-Fi system running under IEEE 802.11 b/g.

"Open systems have been a foundation for all progress in networking—wired and wireless—for the past two decades," said Craig J. Mathias, a Principal with the wireless and mobile advisory firm Farpoint Group (Ashland, MA). "The SensiNet Open Platform enables sensor mesh applications to work over the most appropriate wireless network. I'm especially intrigued by the inclusion of Wi-Fi, as I expect Wi-Fi to play an increasing role in future sensor network deployments."

"Wireless sensing nodes require low power. Sensicast is the first wireless sensing company to offer the option of a low-power Wi-Fi-based sensor in addition to IEEE 802.15.4," said Harry Forbes of ARC Advisory Group. "The option of 802.11 or Wi-Fi sensors will especially suit applications where new sensors can simply piggy-back on existing Wi-Fi infrastructure. Wireless sensors have not been able to do this in the past."

To bring its SensiNet Wi-Fi sensor solution to market immediately, Sensicast announced its ongoing development partnership with Gainspan Corp. Gainspan's GS1010 Wi-Fi system on a chip will run in SensiNet smart sensors and deliver unprecedented intelligent power management, enabling Wi-Fi SensiNet nodes to operate in industrial facilities for years on a single battery.

Before the new Gainspan/Sensicast functionality, Wi-Fi devices consumed an impractical amount of electricity and were required to be powered through rechargeable, plug-in devices or, alternatively, with batteries having a useable life of only a few days. This breakthrough in wireless sensors now makes it possible to use existing Wi-Fi networks for new applications of wireless sensor networks.

"Gainspan is the first company to meet our stringent requirements for battery-operated Wi-Fi sensor networks," said Gary Ambrosino, CEO of Sensicast.

"We are delighted to partner with Sensicast to integrate Gainspan's low-power Wi-Fi system into a solid platform for rapid development of Wi-Fi SensiNet systems, available from Sensicast, the industry leader in turnkey wireless sensor networking systems," said Vijay Parmar, President and CEO of Gainspan.

Looking Ahead to ISA100
"ISA100 is the umbrella under which wireless protocols and standards will coalesce in order for wireless sensor networks to reach critical mass," said Jay Werb, CTO of Sensicast and DLL Technical Editor (for mesh layer) of the ISA100.11a standard. "To meet the demand from customers and partners, Sensicast is committed to supporting this true industry standard when it is ratified. The choice now before vendors (selecting 802.15.4 or Wi-Fi) depends on their customers' various needs, applications in use, and the infrastructure of each enterprise. For optimum flexibility, SensiNet is expressly designed as a modular architecture delivering comprehensive wireless sensor network functionality with support for multiple protocols," said Werb.

The SensiNet Open Platform
For more information on how the SensiNet Open Platform can be put to work for your products, services, and end-user customers, contact Paul Richards, VP of Sales at prichards@sensicast.com.

About Sensicast
Sensicast provides turnkey wireless sensor network solutions that help operating managers run sustainable commercial and industrial operations through systems that dramatically reduce costs, improve efficiency, and document compliance. Sensicast's patented, easy-to-deploy SensiNet systems capture real-time physical data from applications, processes, and facility conditions and make the information available and actionable through internal and remote Web-based access. SensiNet's Open Platform and green technology meet the needs of a wide range of enterprises and applications, including remote monitoring of temperature, energy, moisture/humidity, and other data types while facilitating governmental/environmental compliance..

Sensicast and SensiNet are registered trademarks of Sensicast Systems Inc. All other marks are property of their respective owners.


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