Modern smart devices and wireless networks are now offering services that were once considered the preserve of science fiction like Star Trek. However, boldly going where nobody has gone before can bring its own challenges. One of the key concerns is balancing performance and battery usage – it’s very easy to be in a position where despite having the technology, some systems suffer from ‘We don’t have the power Captain!’
Customers’ vigorous demands on technology add to this challenge. Users often want lots of features, simple interfaces, small devices, as well as a responsive network. This reliance on wireless networks to cater for their needs means there are greater demands on the infrastructure than ever before. Wireless sensor network devices typically require a 10-20 year single-cell battery life whilst also delivering high performance in terms of complexity, protocol and radio range. These demanding customer expectations often conflict with what is possible, so designing wireless devices and networks that perform is becoming far more challenging.