Wireless Sensor Networks


Over the recent past, there has been an increasing uptake of wireless sensor network in the industry with most players preferring the technology to others that were in use in the past. Wireless sensor networks adoption cuts across different industries owing to the ease of implementation and ability to function in harsh environments. In the wake of increased demand for these products, M-GLOBAL is evaluating the possibility of venturing into the business of wireless sensor network applications. The wireless sensor network industry is a new business opportunity for M-GLOBAL as the company is currently looking for a new business area.

The fact that most people as well as companies are adopting the technology should be a pointer to the viability of the business. However, the business is quite risky due to the fact that technological appliances change very fast and could be rendered obsolete by new technologies in the market. As thus, the company aims to do a technical research on the possibility and feasibility of wireless sensor networks as a business venture.  This report, therefore analyzes the current wireless sensor networks industry and explores future trends to help in the decision making process regarding the business exploitation.

Results and Discussion

A wireless sensor network (WSN) is a collection of autonomous sensors spatially distributed for monitoring of environmental and physical conditions (Yick et al, 2008). Ideally, the sensors are equipped with wireless interfaces thus enhancing their communication with each other within a specific network.  Some of the factors and conditions that wireless sensor networks can effectively monitor include the temperature, pressure and sound within a certain location. The data collected by the sensors in a certain network are cooperatively transferred to a main location where the data can then be analyzed. The availability of smaller, intelligent and cheaper sensors has increased the application of wireless sensor networks in tracking identified targets and monitoring conditions. Although the sensors are almost similar, the design and structure of a wireless sensor network is dependent on the application for which it is to be deployed and the specific needs of the application. As thus, an outline of a wireless sensor network should consider key factors such as the objectives, environment, cost, system constraints and hardware available.

The emergence of WSNs can be traced back to the needs in the military which motivated its development. In particular, the surveillance of battlefields and enemy operations is a key motivation in the development of such networks. Today, the networks application is diverse and varied ranging from consumer applications to the monitoring of industrial processes among other applications. Modern WSNs are bidirectional thereby enabling the application owner to control the activity of the sensors within the network. The structure of WSNs comprises of different nodes which are connected to at least one sensor depending on the user requirements. The different sensor-node networks have several components including a microcontroller, a radio transreceiver, an energy source and an electronic circuit (Hailing et al, 2005). The choice of sensor nodes is also dependent on the user requirements and the cost implications but they range from the size of a shoe box to the size of dust grain. Regardless, the wireless sensor networks whether simple or complex function in similar fashion and only vary with applications.

Contrary to popular belief, wireless applications have been in existence for a long period of time and have not been occasioned by the mere emergence of Wi-Fi. The United States is leading in the adoption of wireless sensor networks although Asian countries such as Japan are catching up. The wireless sensor network industry is clogged with multiple product and service providers each aiming for a larger share of the current market. As thus, WSNs are readily available across the world and are therefore cheap and accessible to many people. One of the products in the market is the WSN nodes that are sold by a variety of companies such as MEMSIC. Different wireless sensor nodes are available in the market depending on the specific needs of the user and the application.

Most companies in the wireless sensor network industry have sensor board products for sale to their customers. These sensor boards can be connected to the companies’ wireless modules to provide both direct sensing connectivity and external sensor capabilities. The main sensor boards in the market include MICA and IRIS family sensor boards that are sold by companies such as National Instruments and Mouser. Further, these companies provide direct interface with their platforms and avail open source software for download by the customers. In addition, the companies have gateway boards available to consumers across the world. The platforms support multiple interfaces including Wi-Fi, UISB and Ethernet thus providing a base station for connecting a sensor network to an enterprise or individual PC. Besides these products, companies also offer development kits services that aid the consumers in the development of WSNs (Ruiz-Garcia et al, 2009). These kits support the customers through all the stages and include Starter Kits, Classroom Kits as well as Professional Kits.

Wireless sensor networks are increasingly being used in different applications owing to diversification of operations in different industries. In fact, it is projected that the up[take of these networks will increase by more than 550% by the year 2020 to reach a cumulative figure of about 24 million installed sensor points across the world. By the year 2024, the WSN market will expand to more than $1.8 billion (Petersen et al, 2007). This is evidenced by the emergence of killer applications including automation of meter readings in buildings and industrial plants. The increase in demand for wireless sensor networks will result in higher sales for companies that deal with such products. In addition, companies offering consultancy services as well as those providing repair and maintenance stand to gain from the increased uptake. The increase in sales draws from increased application in the military and other relevant industries.

As the demand for wireless sensor networks increase with every year, the companies dealing in the business also increase in their number of employees. In 2014, the average sized companies dealing in the business had between 51 and 2000 employees depending on the nature of the companies’ businesses.  For instance, Mousers, which deals with the sale of nodes and chipsets, had about 1200 employees spread out across the different branches that the company operates. In the future, the number of employees in the industry is projected to rise steadily leading to a high influx in the industry. As thus, companies will be competing to attract and retain the best talents in the market in a bid to safeguarding their sustainability in the dynamic market. In addition, the trends in employment will be focused on highly skilled labor in an attempt to improve innovation in the companies. Both sales and employment are increasing with time in the wireless sensor network industry owing to increased demand for WSN products (Petersen et al, 2007).

In facilitating the installation of wireless sensor networks, different software are compatible and provide an effective option in the development of the networks. However, the use of open source software is particularly favored by most customers owing to the fact that it is free of charge and easily accessible from the internet. ATEMU is one such software that is specifically designed for use in WSNs. The popularity of the software is perhaps due to the fact that it can provide emulation for a variety of sensor nodes in both homogeneous and heterogeneous networks. The software is also beneficial in that it can emulate radio channels as well as power consumptions. As thus, the software can be used of a wide array of applications to detect and monitor changes in certain physical and environmental conditions. However, its drawback is that it has a relatively long simulation time therefore using a lot of time to monitor conditions.

Wireless sensor networks have wide applications in different industries and are structured depending on the application. One of the key applications is in the area monitoring including in military and surveillance (Hailing, 2005). The WSN is deployed over a region where the phenomenon is being monitored and could be used agriculture to monitor pests. In addition the same is used in geo fencing of oil and gas pipelines. Moreover, WSN is used in monitoring of environmental parameters monitoring including air pollution monitoring, forest fire and landslide detection. Moreover the same has agricultural applications in monitoring of water quality and prevention of natural disasters.

Besides area monitoring, WSN has medical applications in healthcare monitoring where implanted or wearable devices are used. The applications can then collect information about a person’s health. Moreover, wireless sensor networks are used in industrial monitoring for data logging and machine health monitoring. The data collected in this application is used to make decisions regarding the conditions of certain industrial parameters. Further, the same can be used in monitoring the volume and quality of waste water produced in an industry (Ruiz-Garcia et al, 2009). Other applications include structural health monitoring where WSNs are deployed to monitor the conditions of civil infrastructure over long periods of time.


Wireless sensor networks are increasingly gaining popularity among different industries for their efficiency and accuracy in monitoring different parameters. The ease of implementation as well as the ability to work in harsh environments where man cannot venture physically is some of the reasons why the networks have gained prominence. The applications of WSNs range from simple monitoring tasks to complex measurements of parameters. Overall, however, the WSNs are effective tools of decision making as they provide reliable data. As the world diversifies in terms of operations, demand for wireless sensor networks increases thus leading to higher utilization of the same. The benefit of these developments is the provision of business opportunities for companies to venture into the trade of WSNs. The wide realms in which wireless sensor networks are applicable provide more opportunities for increased sales and employment in the WSN industry. As thus, the industry is set to benefit much more people than can be projected. Overall, venturing in the WSN industry is a viable option for M-GLOBAL Company both in the short and long term period.



Yick, J., Mukherjee, B., & Ghosal, D. (2008). Wireless sensor network survey. Computer networks, 52(12), 2292-2330.

Hailing, C. L. J., Yong, M., Tianpu, L., Wei, L., & Ze, Z. (2005). Overview of Wireless Sensor Networks. Journal of Computer Research and Development, 1, 021.

Ruiz-Garcia, L., Lunadei, L., Barreiro, P., & Robla, I. (2009). A review of wireless sensor technologies and applications in agriculture and food industry: state of the art and current trends. sensors, 9(6), 4728-4750.

Hailing, C. L. J., Yong, M., Tianpu, L., Wei, L., & Ze, Z. (2005). Overview of Wireless Sensor Networks. Journal of Computer Research and Development, 1, 021.

Petersen, S., Doyle, P., Vatland, S., Aasland, C. S., Andersen, T. M., & Sjong, D. (2007, September). Requirements, drivers and analysis of wireless sensor network solutions for the Oil & Gas industry. In Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation, 2007. ETFA. IEEE Conference on (pp. 219-226). IEEE.



Do you need an Original High Quality Academic Custom Essay?