Nice article, Al. I would guess we'll see increased use of wireless devices and systems in all areas of automation and control. One area that calls for wireless is difficult environments where running wire often means the cable goes through mean environments that can include grease and sitting pools of gunk. Wireless is well suited to avoid these difficult terrains.
The next step -- a very distant step, to be sure -- would be to put wireless sensors on board vehicles. With 150 pounds of wiring on vehicles today, automotive engineers would love to be able to do that.
Hey Chuck, I didn't realize there was 150 pounds of wiring in autos. That's amazing. With the big emphasis on driving down the weight of vehicles to meet CAFE standards, wireless will probably get a good look-over. I imagine it will come down to cost of wireless versus the benefits of hitting the CAFE standards.
Agree with you, Rob, wireless can solve a lot of the networking problems in an industrial setting, and is definitely one of the ways forward for enabling connectivity for a number of machines and devices. Interesting and informative article, Al.
Agree with both of you. Wireless technology is going to continue to break into new application areas and the advantages are obvious. Guaranteeing reliability and also breaking into control apps will be the big challenge.
Imagine being able to illegally download a physical product the same way you can with music and video. The advent of desktop, home, and prosumer 3D printers is having huge repercussions in the intellectual property domain.
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