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Wireless Sensors a Mass Market Opportunity

March 1, 2004 (PR Web) San Diego, CA - More than half a billion nodes will ship for wireless sensor applications in 2010 for an end user market worth more than $7 billion, according to a recently released report by ON World, an emerging wireless research firm.

In addition to reducing costs and increasing efficiencies for industries and businesses, wireless sensor networking will bring consumers a new generation of conveniences. A few of these include remote controlled heating/lighting/appliances, automated grocery lists, personal health diagnosis, automated automobile check-ups and alerts that let you know when your child might be in danger, according ON World.

Although wireless sensors have been around for decades, these have stayed in an infancy stage until recently due to expensive, primitive radios and bulky, complicated sensors. Today, the wireless sensor market is poised to take off now that advanced radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs) are now available for less than $3 in high volumes and smart sensor integrated circuits have become the norm.

Standards to unleash innovation

"Now that quality yet cheap radios and sensor ICs are readily available, the biggest limitation is the lack of networking standards, says Mareca Hatler, ON World Research Director. Because there are literally hundreds of proprietary network protocols today, manufacturers have created their own, mostly expensive, products that will not work with products from other manufacturers.

The lack of standards has not only prevented the possibility for interoperability but also has limited innovation. Hatler says that "the upcoming ZigBee network protocol will provide a common platform upon which developers can create applications that will leverage the hardware advances with radios and sensors." The vision for the ZigBee specification is to enable developers to create solutions that will lower installation and maintenance costs for a variety of sensors used in industrial, commercial and residential settings.

Improved industrial processes and safety

A killer app for wireless sensors is monitoring industrial processes and related equipment to alert staff of imminent failures which can save millions of dollars in potential lost productivity. Wireless sensors can also reach places where wires will not go and especially dangerous areas that might be filled with toxins or high temperatures. For example, opening a man hole can cost thousands of dollars per hour for the amount of effort that goes in to ensuring it is safe.

Reduced energy consumption through improved control

Wireless sensor networking is timely with the emphasis today on energy conservation and reduced expenses. ON World reports that because wireless sensors can be more easily installed and in a wider range of areas, they will likely reduce wasted lighting and heating expenditures by as much as 50 percent. In 2001, total energy costs in the United States were 15 percent of its GDP, or $891.1 billion.

Over the next five years, utilities will be giving consumers more control over their energy consumption and bills as well through two-way communications with their utilities companies. Wireless automated meter reading (AMR), a form of wireless sensor networking, is a low-cost solution for utilities to offer this to their customers.

Increased conveniences and energy control in your home

Consumer usage of wireless sensors is perhaps one of the most interesting areas and one with the largest potential. According to ON World, residential wireless sensors will soon be used to control lighting as well as heating, venting and air conditioning (HVAC) and appliances. Pretty soon, consumers will be able to control aspects of remote parts of the house through their wireless sensor networks and user interfaces that they can access through either computers or remote controls. Not much longer after this, wireless sensor network technologies will enable consumers to keep track of their belongings, pets and children, have remote control over their car doors, gates, outdoor lighting and even some day, self-diagnose themselves and send information about their cars to their mechanics (and vice versa) without taking time off work.

ON World's report, "Wireless Sensor Networks: Mass Market Opportunities," published February 22, 2004, includes market size projections on the top six wireless sensor market segments (excluding automotive and consumer electronics) with an analysis on competing technologies and existing market statistics; a business model analysis; a survey analysis based on interviews with 59 OEMs, systems integrators, software licensors and component suppliers; and profiles on 42 private and public companies.

The report is available for sale from ON World's website at:

About ON World Inc.:
ON World Inc. provides world class business intelligence on emerging wireless technology markets. More information about ON World's research services and products may be found from

Media Contact: Mareca Hatler, eMail
Phone: 858.259.2397

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