Wireless Sensor Networks Expand

The wireless sensor network (WSN) market is poised to grow rapidly in the coming years, as it takes off from its beginnings in manufacturing and process control to encompass a wider range of applications, enabling the automatic monitoring of any number of occurrences, including natural disasters, utilities failures and traffic. According to IDTechEx (www.idtechex.com), the WSN market should quadruple from about $450 million in 2011 to $2 billion in 2021.

However, this forecast growth, IDTechEx cautions, will require major progress with standards and technology, including power consumption and battery life. Drawing lessons from many successful installations in the past year, analysts explore the complex standards scene with particular focus on WirelessHART, which is key to applications in the process industries in the short and medium term. The alternative ISA 11.11a has some way to go, IDTechEx says, but might prove useful over a wider field of application and eventually take over for WirelessHART. The report also looks at recent successes of the various backers of ZigBee-related solutions.

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