By Sam Eifling
November 27, 2013
Improvements in energy technology and a tsunami of smart phones will propel wire sensor networks to become a $14.6 billion dollar industry by 2019 — a 26-fold increase over 2012 — a new report by WinterGreen Research predicts.
The Massachusetts firm is expecting emerging technologies in batteries, energy harvesting and sensor technology to drive an explosion in networked systems that can monitor and control a gamut of functions. Crucial, too, will be smart phone technologies to synch with and operate those networks. WinterGreen is counting on 8.5 billion smart phones worldwide by 2019, or about 10 percent more smart phones than there will be people on the planet.
The rise in WSNs will enable interconnectivity between software and real-world hardware in profound and mundane ways. Recent WSN applications include mold and moisture monitoring in homes, wireless smart locks, biometric monitoring in space suits and applications for finding parking spots in downtown Cleveland. The Internet of things is becoming the norm.
The possibilities for monitoring health and building smart cities stand to grow, the report says, when as solid-state batteries and ambient energy harvesting can power sensors without the need for outlets.
Among 80 companies in the marketplace, WinterGreen counts 11 of them as market leaders: Northrop Grumman, Boeing, KCF Technologies, Marlow Industries, Cymbet, Micropelt, EnOcean, Silicon Laboratories, Perpetuum, Arveni and Infinite Power Solutions.
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