October 12, 2004
WSA Wireless Sensor Network Panel
I moderated a panel today on Wireless Sensor Networks for the WSA conference: "tech future: crossing the wireless chasm". Am posting my discussion outline from the panel below.
Dr. William Colleran
President & CEO, Impinj, Inc.
Director, Strategic Investments, Intel Capital
Director of Information Technology, Seattle Public Library
Chief Software Architect, Ember Corporation
Many buzz phrases being used in the press: sensornets, embedded computing, edge computing, proactive computing, ambient wireless, pervasive wireless, smart dust, M2M, D2D, intelligent RF, ZigBee, and so on...
Main point is the mass proliferation of non-PC based computing onto the network.
Interesting for two reaons:
Diversity of Applications. Supply chain and inventory management, asset tracking, building automation, industrial controls, home monitoring, security/defense, the list goes on …
Product volumes are potentially enormous: billions of consumer product pallets and eventually products will be tagged, billions of microcontrollers each year in machines and industrial equipment not currently networked or intelligent. Low-cost wireless chipsets are poised to drive the emergence of a new “Device Web” where disparate data can be monitored, collected, and acted upon by automated, intelligent devices.
I. Market timing. Reality vs. hype. Are we about to see an explosion of volume and penetration in RFID/wireless sensor devices or are we still in the very early phases?
II. Applications. What will be the near-term drivers of these markets? The Wal-mart impact on RFID? Building automation? Home automation? What are the key catalysts? What are examples of unique applications already in place today?
III. Where is the technology innovation occurring? Will this just be a market of cheap, commoditized chipsets or are there complex application-specific technology and software issues that need to be resolved? How do we address development, implementation, tools, ease of use, etc.?
IV. Where are the investment opportunities? Will large corporate players dominate or is there room for the nimble start-up to successfully drive early growth?
V. Role of the standards. What is the current status (EPC Global, 802.15.4/ZigBee, etc.) and how crucial is broad standard adoption to market success?
VI. Privacy and Security. If we start tagging or networking anything and everything, what are the privacy and security implications? Are these concerns eventually going to disappear as the technology becomes more commonplace or will fears/breaches only get worse?
VII. Q&A from audience
VIII. The Future: looking 10 years out, what unforeseen roles might wireless sensors play in business and society?
Posted by stephen at October 12, 2004 5:40 PM
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very cool. Glad you got your portfolio company there. I was very happy to find the Seattle public library actually implementing RFID when most of the tech industry is still playing the waiting game.
Posted by: ministeroforder at October 21, 2004 9:49 AM
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