The new market for Ubiquitous Sensor Networks (USN)
"The WSN market will grow to $1.8 billion in 2024"
IDTechEx research has found that the WSN market will grow to $1.8 billion by 2024. These figures refer to WSN defined as wireless mesh networks, i.e. Self-healing and self-organising. Wireless Sensor Networks will eventually enable the automatic monitoring of forest fires, avalanches, hurricanes, failure of country wide utility equipment, traffic, hospitals and much more over wide areas, something previously impossible. It has started already with more humble killer applications such as automating meter readings in buildings, and manufacture and process control.
The WSN business is set to become a multibillion dollar activity but only if there is major progress with standards and technology. This techno-marketing report scopes manufacturers and developers and looks closely at the impediments to rollout and how to overcome them. For example, today's power sources often stand in way of the desired 20 year life so the report looks closely at how energy harvesting can help and profiles the relevant power source manufacturers. Ten year WSN forecasts are made based on the very latest information.
This new report draws lessons from many successful installations in the last year. It looks at the complex standards scene with particular focus on WirelessHART that is the key to applications in the process industries in the short and medium term and it shows how the alternative ISA 11.11a has some way to go but may prove useful over a wider field of application and eventually subsume WirelessHART. It examines recent successes of the various backers of ZigBee-related solutions, who is behind the alternatives and how they see the future.
The USA dominates the development and use of WSN partly because of the heavier funding available there. US industry sits astride the computer industry thanks to companies such as Microsoft and IBM and WSN is regarded as a next wave of computing, so US industry is particularly interested to participate. Add to that the fact that the US Military, deeply interested in WSN, spends more than all other military forces combined and creating and funding start-ups is particularly easy in the USA and you can see why the US is ahead at present. IDTechEx has profiled the main players in WSN, and their location by country is shown below.
The challenge of excessive power consumption of these nodes, that have to act as both tags and readers, is addressed. For example, progress has been good in getting the electronics to consume less electricity, by both improved signalling protocols and improved circuitry.
As for batteries, lithium thionyl chloride single-use versions have twenty year life in certain circumstances but, for many applications, energy harvesting supplying rechargeable batteries is more attractive. That said, where is the rechargeable battery guaranteed for 20 years in use? What are the most promising battery technologies coming available in the next ten years? What are the alternatives to batteries? Which of the favourite energy harvesting technologies should be used - photovoltaic, electrodynamic, thermoelectric or piezoelectric? When are they usable in combinations and what are the results so far? Which applicational sectors of WSN have the most potential and what lies in the way for each?
The new report addresses these issues and provides a wealth of analysis of WSN projects and development programmes including the creating of improved WSN components, plus profiles of many suppliers, governments, standards bodies and investors. Benchmark your success and failure and optimise your future approach based on measured evidence. It is all here.
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