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PALO ALTO , Calif., Sept. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- As sensors become an integralpart of most industries, their high-volume applications have increased their efficiencies of scale, thus in turn lowering prices and promoting adoption in other devices. Micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) accelerometers, for instance, are ubiquitous in airbags and have recently started appearing in commodity hardware such as laptop hard disc drives. Also, as a consequence of the many natural disasters that took place during 2005, public focus is shifting from artificial blunders to natural calamities, thus creating considerable potential for smart sensors in environment monitoring systems.
Typically, smart sensors find use in a range of diverse industries including the likes of homeland security agriculture, automation and healthcare. Using an array of smart sensor gauges, wireless sensor networks(WSNs) find key applications in numerously varied military projects, efforttracking, effort management systems, habitat and water quality monitoring,agricultural studies, radiation detection, homeland security, as well as preventive maintenance of machinery. The key benefit of wireless sensorsystems lies in their ability to poll the data read by sensors wirelessly,thus allowing storage and analysis at a local facility.
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"Smart sensor and WSNs offer numerous market benefits and while the last few years have been called the information age, we are now looking at a sensorage with the enmeshing of the physical world with cyberspace," notes TechnicalInsights Research Analyst (http://www.technicalinsights.frost.com ) MahaneeyaRaman. "Such systems facilitate the detection of both data as well as eventsand apart from their tracking benefits, WSNs also enable the cataloguing anditemizing of numerous devices and objects in addition to information."
However, despite their technological superiority, one of the biggest competing technologies for WSNs is the existing base of wired systems. Most buildings that are a target of the WSN vendors are almost 90-100 years old and have existing wired systems. Additionally, although the costs of sensor systems are declining, the reduction remains insufficient to significantly bolster adoption rates. Cost is a significant issue, especially inapplications that require additional intelligence in terms of added microelectronic hardware, software and data communication modules. In lowervolumes, MEMS-based sensors, nanosensors and implantable smart sensors can bemore expensive than regular general-purpose systems.