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19 April, 2018

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Wireless sensors start to mesh

01 July, 2004

Wireless sensors start to mesh

Within five years, networks of wireless sensors will be common in factories, cutting wiring costs by 50-70%, a new study predicts. By 2010, there could be 160 million wireless nodes in use, producing a market worth $5.9bn, says the US wireless technology market specialist, ON World.

Initially, the wireless sensors will replace wired systems such as DeviceNet and Modbus in monitoring applications, the report suggests. In many cases, users will recoup their initial investments ten times over in a year, "with very little downside", it adds.

In particular, ON World expects "mesh" wireless sensor networking technologies, such as Zigbee, to accelerate trends such as distributed networking and real-time equipment monitoring. As well as cutting installation costs, the wireless networks will offer other benefits, including reduced troubleshooting, maintenance and upgrading costs.

The mesh networks can configure and heal themselves, making them robust and reliable. In addition, they will eliminate many of the connectors that cause most network failures.

The first Zigbee specification is due by the end of the year and a working group has been formed to develop profiles for industrial applications.




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