High efficient battery technology will become, if not already are, one of the major research areas in 2011. Mobile devices, hybrid car, electric car, etc, need a better battery. I can't wait to have a smartphone which doesn't need to go back into the charger in 1+ weeks.
A side note, usually, military research is leading the technology for a couple of years. Lately, news indicates that the time gap of new tech development between military and commercial becomes narrower. Battery technology is one of the examples. I am expecting there are more to come in the near future.
What are the engineering and design challenges in creating successful IoT devices? These devices are usually small, resource-constrained electronics designed to sense, collect, send, and/or interpret data. Some of the devices need to be smart enough to act upon data in real time, 24/7. Specifically the guests will discuss sensors, security, and lessons from IoT deployments.