A panel of experts has been drawn together to discuss the future of wireless sensor networks at the Embedded Systems Conference, which take place April 26 to 29 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.
Collections of autonomous smart wireless sensors that could connect together to form ad hoc networks were not practical until recently. But in the late 1990s it became clear that Moore's Law would eventually take performance up and power consumption and form factor down, to the point where they would be possible.
And the juxtaposition of sensors (and potentially actuators), conversion circuits, digital logic, power and power management and wireless transceivers is a potent combination because it is, in essence, the superset template for a vast swathe of electronic systems. So not only were wireless sensor networks becoming possible, they were set to be revolutionary.
And that is where the fun begins because myriad questions quickly follow. What are the right applications for wireless sensor networks? What is the right architecture for the right application? What about the trade-offs of performance against range against power consumption against cost? Is energy harvesting viable to avoid battery costs? What is the right radio protocol? What legacy hardware, software and protocol stacks can be reused? What are the right standards to ensure interoperability?
Like many coming technologies wireless sensor networks have been through surges of optimism followed by troughs of despondency brought on by the hard grind of knocking down practical problems application by application. And Moore's law and the creativity of chip designers mean that neither the technical context nor the questions stand still. So where do such networks stand today?
The panel is set to include four experts who will be able to shed light on this topic:
Kris Pister is a professor at University of California, Berkeley and one of the first and foremost thinkers about wireless sensor networks. He is also co-founder and chief technology officer of Dust Networks Inc. (Hayward, Calif.), a 2002 startup that has pioneered design and manufacture of wireless sensor networks for industrial applications.
Brett Black, wireless connectivity operations manager at Freescale Semiconductor Inc. (Tempe, Ariz.). Black has been the Freescale representative on the ZigBee Alliance board of directors since December, 2004.
Stuart McLaren is a STMicroelectronics' Americas region product marketing manager for memories, microcontrollers and smartcards.
Kirsten West is the principal analyst and co-founder of West Technology Research Solutions (WTRS), a market research firm focused on emerging wireless technologies such as IEEE 802.15.4, ZigBee, EnOcean, Bluetooth, WirelessHD, and WiMax.
So with audience participation in the form of questions and the panelists' expertise, we aim to look at how the technologies and markets are evolving. What is the state-of-the-art for ultra-small and low-power computing and communications nodes? What are the key technologies and markets and what's needed to take them to the next level?
The panel on wireless sensor networks is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 1:30pm in ESC Theater 1 in the McEnery Center, San Jose.
And if you already have burning questions that you want to put before the panel please send them to your moderator firstname.lastname@example.org
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