Market Opportunities in Short Range Wireless
Thintri, Inc. announces the release of Market Opportunities in Short Range Wireless, a new report that explores short range wireless technologies and the markets they address. A number of these technologies have already created billion dollar markets, while others are just beginning, but most are poised for dramatic growth. Thintri's report covers the array of available short range wireless technologies including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, RFID, ZigBee, Z-Wave, ANT and others, and examines major market opportunities such as healthcare and the smart home. Market forecasts are provided going out to 2023.
Short Range Wireless Technologies Overview
Standards and Protocols
- Network Layers
- IrDA vs. Bluetooth
- Market Development
- Passive Tags
- Active Tags
- Semi-Passive, Battery-Assisted Tags
- Tag Classes
- RFID vs. Barcodes
- Established and Emerging Markets
Near Field Communications (NFC)
- Purchases and Transactions
- New Applications
- The Role of Bluetooth and BLE
- Beacon Technology
- Market Development
The Smart Home
- Home Area Networks
- Smart Home Platforms: Z-Wave, Wi-Fi, etc.
- Market Growth
- Protocols in Wireless
- Healthcare: ANT, ZigBee, UWB, Bluetooth, etc.
- Capsule Endoscopy
- Wearables: WBANs, MBANs
- Challenges of the Human Body
- mHealth and Remote Monitoring
- Commercialization of Technologies
- Market Development
Background on Short Range Wireless and Emerging Markets
As wireless communications captures and creates numerous markets, the short range wireless (SRW) segment is creating significant opportunities. "Short range," in this case, refers to technologies that are largely (but not exclusively) limited to about 10m, or 30 feet, roughly the size of a house or small building. Evolving technologies and standards, some of which have already captured billion-dollar markets, are set to create enormous new markets as inexpensive, user-friendly platforms find their way into a host of new applications.
Platforms like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are already well established, with annual device shipments in the billions of units per year. Their markets are growing rapidly as new applications continually surface. The more recent development of protocols like ANT, 6LoWPAN, Z-Wave and others, along with plunging hardware prices, has set up conditions for a rapid expansion of new commercial and consumer markets. The result will be explosive markets in applications that in many cases barely exist today.
Some of those technologies will revolutionize the conduct of ordinary commerce. For example, near field communications (NFC) will enable mobile or "smart" wallets that allow a smartphone to perform the normal actions of credit cards and eliminate the use of cash. Already, hotel customers can use their smart phones for keyless room entry, and airline customers can use their phones as boarding passes, all without reaching for a credit card or document.
The "smart home" is an arena where a broad array of commercial products is already available, but which is also poised for dramatic growth. The smart home market is now dominated by applications that optimize HVAC performance and energy conservation, as well as security, but that scope is expanding quickly. Platforms like Insteon, Bluetooth/BLE, Z-Wave and others will allow consumers far from home to talk by video with a repair technician at their door, confirm identity, let the technician in, watch them while working, and lock the front door after their leaving. The evolution of SRW technologies will result in a merging of smart home functions as large security providers are forced to broaden their focus to include a far larger range of smart home product offerings.
Emerging smart home applications will include smart lighting systems that can suit any mood, garage doors that automatically open on the approach of the user's phone, outdoor motion sensors that can distinguish between pets and humans, and systems that can feed pets on schedule, among many others. Some new products will enhance the safety of residents, such as elderly people living alone.
Similarly, SRW technology is remaking healthcare and medical services. Within hospitals, wireless sensors can eliminate the tangle of cables that not only proves cumbersome and prevents patient mobility but SRW technology can also provide immediate warning of critical events such as cardiac arrest. In the operating room during surgery, elimination of wires and cables can significantly improve patient safety and efficiency of medical staff.
The real revolution in medical care brought about by SRW technology, however, will be the unprecedented increase in mobility and efficiency brought about by small, inexpensive wireless sensors and the associated infrastructure that will allow complete or nearly complete mobility for many patients while providing continuous, 24 hour monitoring of a broad range of physiological parameters such as blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, respiration, blood glucose levels, electrical activity in the brain and others. Medical body area networks (MBANs) will not only ease the experience of patients in hospitals but will allow many patients, who would otherwise be confined to a hospital, to return home and remain under continuous monitoring. When a monitored parameter reaches a value outside of the desired range, an alert can be triggered that will quickly notify medical staff who can then take appropriate action.
In some of these promising markets, hardware costs are still too high to realize market potential, in spite of early rapid growth in most of those markets. Nevertheless, like most technologies, prices are declining at a significant rate that will facilitate market growth.
Understand the Markets
Short range wireless technologies offer extraordinary opportunities. From platforms and applications that are already well-established in billion-dollar markets, to new protocols and markets that are only now emerging, potential market volumes are enormous and in many cases growing rapidly. Depending on the market, growth is already well underway, is starting now, or will start soon. And yet, there are legacy technologies that will decline in this period as they become constrained by older standards that are less adaptable in the new marketplace. Completely new markets, many of them targeted at the rapidly evolving consumer sector, present new requirements that can only be met by more recently developed protocols. And the proliferation of platforms has meant that some markets are served by several protocols, initiating fierce competition among them.
In this period of unparalleled promise, flux and uncertainty, the winners will be those who most quickly apply the best technologies to the most appropriate markets. The platforms are available and markets waiting. In some cases the only barrier is that the hardware needs to be less costly; in others, there simply needs to be greater customer awareness. Thintri's report highlights the available short range wireless technologies and analyzes their market opportunities, with forecasts to 2023.