Sensor networking is topic of consortium meeting

By Control Engineering Staff November 14, 2005

What’s real and what lies ahead for sensor networking (and its enormous potential to revolutionize products and services) will be topics covered in the first symposium and open house by Boston University Sensor Network Consortium (SNC), on Nov. 18, 2005. More than 150 participants are expected—academic, industry, and venture-capital members of the sensor networking community, SNC says, about its BU Emerging Technologies and Best Industry Practices symposium.

SNC is a partnership of start-up technology innovators, corporations, and researchers working in sensor networking. On Nov. 17 SNC’s semi-annual, members-only meeting will address “hot-button issues as sensor network security and implementation as well as the changing business models that sensor networking introduces,” within a neutral setting, says SNC associate director, Linda Grosser.

The Nov. 18 keynote address is “Sensor Networks-the Next Tier of the Internet” by David Culler, professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley. BP, IBM, Ford, and Honeywell will talk on industrial and building automation, enterprise solutions, healthcare, and homeland security. A panel plans to explore when and how the promise of sensor networking will play out.

SNC member Anoop Mathur, senior technology manager of wireless technologies and embedded control at Honeywell, calls symposium’s theme appropriate “because sensor networking is a vastly transformative, and thus hugely disruptive, technology. Although there are forward-thinking customers aware of this, most haven’t yet realized the power of this technology. Industry needs to focus on clearly articulating the requirements for how applications will use wireless sensor networks. This can then to be used to set the standards. If you don’t understand the requirements, then you cannot bring useful technology to the consumer.” Thomas Cunneen, vice president of sales and marketing for Millennial Net, likes the exposure the consortium offers. SNC’s aademic director, Yannis Paschalidis, also an associate professor of engineering at Boston University, says “SNC industrial partners bring real-world problems. As researchers, we bring the research innovation. Together, we can launch joint projects that provide strategic benefit in sensor networking, and, that meet the immediate needs of the marketplace.”

SNC is an initiative of Boston University’s Center for Information and Systems Engineering (CISE), to foster research, development, and commercialization in sensor networks by facilitating collaboration across industry and academic lines. For members and more information, visit .

—Edited by Mark T. Hoske , Control Engineering