Wireless Applications

Wireless Sensor Networks Evolve with Power-Management Options

August 4, 2008

According to the 2008 Research and Markets report, extended operation supported by battery power or energy harvesting is driving the deployment of wireless sensor networks in a wide array of industries and applications.


DUBLIN, Ireland /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Wireless Sensor Network Technology Trends Report Summer 2008 (Annual Quarterly Subscription)" subscription to their offering.

This report covers emerging wireless sensor and control network technologies and protocols, including IEEE 802.15.4, ZigBee, Z-Wave, Insteon, and EnOcean.

The report tracks the formation of industry alliances and SIGs and the development of standards, analyzes the potential market opportunities for component OEMs, describes initial versus long-range drivers in the market, and analyzes potential partnership opportunities and existing alliances.

The report is an in-depth assessment and analysis of chipsets and includes extensive analysis of the various sensor and M2M network layers. It is also, and above all, an analysis of potential markets, an evaluation of the participating OEMs, and a review of strategic partnerships and of industry trends.

The report also details sales volume, unit shipments, and average selling price by vertical market segment, as well as by geography, all segmented into three global GDP growth scenarios.

New Power-Management Options
The report finds that extended operation on battery power or the use of energy-harvesting technologies is a key requirement in the deployment of wireless sensor networks (WSN) that will define the competitive landscape going forward.

ZigBee and IEEE 802.15.4 are standard wireless sensor network protocols, providing advantages in home automation, industrial automation, building control, smart metering, and power-management markets. Until recently, the industry lacked the capability to provide a vertical suite of development tools to assist companies unfamiliar with wireless technology in the development, integration, and deployment of wireless sensor network functionality.

"We have observed an interesting trend during the first quarter of 2008, namely an expansion in the number of approaches to solve the problem of deploying wireless sensor networks for applications, lacking a ready, convenient, or affordable access to mains power," said Kirsten West, PhD, principal analyst with WTRS. "Overall it is clear that there is demand for solutions that manage the energy consumed by a wireless sensor network. As the wireless sensor network market matures, it is inevitable that demand for low power management will increase significantly."

The "Wireless Sensor Network Technology Trends Report Summer 2008," analyzes and forecasts the market for wireless sensor networks. The report includes a thorough evaluation of emerging wireless sensor network technologies and associated software, including ZigBee, Z-Wave, Insteon, IEEE 802.15.4, and other proprietary options. The report also provides a five-year forecast that details sales volume, unit shipments, and average selling price by vertical market segment, as well as by geography.

Executive Summary
WSN will particularly invade home and building applications. The new report demonstrates that while the usual listing of home security, entertainment and lighting control, automated fire containment and alarm, and burglar deterrence are all important, the application in energy-use monitoring and utility management will be immense.

The report finds that nearly 70% of the average household utility bill could be influenced by WSN application to temperature and lighting. It also establishes that home and building owners can use interactive energy-management tools to create energy-management profiles that are triggered by certain established consumption rates. As energy consumption exceeds a specific point, the WSN can automatically begin turning off low-priority lighting, heating, and cooling zones, using wireless humidity and temperature sensors, as well as lighting and access monitors. Wireless outdoor motion sensors could remain active while other specific energy consumers could be dimmed.

Other sectors are likely to be strongly influenced by the adoption of WSN technology. The industrial sector is likely to undergo workflow churn as WSN applications increase safety, reliability, and efficiency of industrial facilities. Frequency-agility requirements are driving evolution toward industrial standards. Automated meter reading management proves a very significant opportunity in the utilities sector. And finally, the growth of personal and national security demand drives considerable growth in WSN, in border control, access, and defense.

WSN technologies are becoming available in more useful forms than simple protocol specifications and chipsets. Modules are becoming more sophisticated and more capable of meeting the demands of a broad market opportunity. Fortunately, module and development kit pricing has dropped over the past 6 months while functionality has increased.

The state of the global economy may have unforeseen influence on the adoption of WSN technologies. European government mandates strengthen market hold on WSN. Meanwhile, slow economic growth in the U.S. changes direction of WSN market expansion.


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