Topic: Technology Tutorials

$7 Billion, Phases of Visibility, and Other Developments

A little government influence promises to ignite wireless sensor networking progress this year. Meanwhile SP100's momentum continues to surprise, and the petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries recognize the value of wireless. And, I wonder, who'll be the Wal-Mart of the process-visibility phenomenon?

Why Integration?

Integration isn't a passing fad; it's a practical necessity. It builds on the interconnectivity begun by digital communications and networking to deliver greater efficiency."

Tracking Wafers With RFID

Linking RFID with production tools in one of its semiconductor wafer fabrication plants allows IBM to track the production of each wafer, for more efficient fabrication and improved factory scheduling.

Portable Chemical Profiling

The U.S. now inspects 4% of the 6 million shipments arriving at more than 100 ports; before the September 11, 2001, attacks that figure was 2%. About 20% of the cargo passes through overseas ports such as Hong Kong, where U.S. inspectors are being stationed. Cargo worth $1.2 trillion, or half of U.S. imports, arrives by sea. The rest comes in from Canada and Mexico. Given the sheer volume of arriving merchandise, there is a good chance that some shipments will include unwelcome items. But how can they be discoveredand identifiedwithout a lengthy inspection of every container?

Aiming Higher Than "Can You Hear Me Now?"

"Are you still a big proponent of wireless sensing? an industry colleague asked me the other day. For a brief moment I didn't know how to answer. I felt as though I'd been asked, on a Monday morning, Are you a big proponent of Tuesday? Huh? When my thoughts congealed I responded: I'm neither a proponent nor a naysayer. Wireless sensor networking is inevitable. It's happening now, and it will continue to happen, eventually in a very big way.