As I mentioned in a previous blog, I'm looking for wireless synergy at ESC this year.
I found it big time on the exhibition floor where the CTO of a module design house said customers are asking for cellular, Wi-Fi and ZigBee on in the same module.
It's the trucking industry. Latest thing for them is to install sensors on critical places like doors to detect unauthorized entry. They'd also like to include environmental sensors. That's the ZigBee angle, of course.
But how do you get that information back to the dispatcher at HDQ on a 24/7 basis? Well, you use cellular while the truck is on the road and Wi-Fi when it's on the company's premises or near a Wi-Fi AP in some truck stop or transfer station.
Why switch between cellular and Wi-Fi? you ask. To save the cost of cellular calls.
There's also a social irony here. We know that truckers whereabouts are monitored by GPS. Now they have sensors in the truck. I think they must be the most monitored people on the planet.
An odd situation, to say the least, for a profession that we've tended to regard as free and easy thanks to the "on the open road" … "we've got ourselves a convoy" mythology that has grown up around them.