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Background on Market Opportunities in Short Range Wireless

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Market Opportunities in Short Range Wireless

Short range wireless applications

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

  • Network Types
  • WLANs
  • WPANs

Standards and Protocols

  • ANT/ANT+
  • UWB
  • Wireless USB
  • Wi-Fi
  • WiGig
  • Bluetooth/BLE
  • ZigBee
  • 6LoWPAN
  • Z-Wave
  • WirelessHD
  • Others

Technology Platforms

  • Infrared
    — IrDA
    — Network Layers
    — IrDA vs. Bluetooth
    — Market Development

  • RFID
    — Standards
    — Passive Tags
    — Active Tags
    — Semi-Passive, Battery-Assisted Tags
    — Tag Classes
    — RFID vs. Barcodes
    — Established and Emerging Markets

  • Near Field Communications (NFC)
    — Security
    — Purchases and Transactions
    — New Applications

  • iBeacons
    — 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

  • Healthcare
    — Sensors
    — Protocols in Wireless
    — Healthcare: ANT, ZigBee, UWB, Bluetooth, etc.
    — Security
    — Capsule Endoscopy
    — E-Skin
    — Wearables: WBANs, MBANs
    — Challenges of the Human Body
    — mHealth and Remote Monitoring
    — Commercialization of Technologies
    — Cautions
    — Regulation
    — 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.


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Market Opportunities in Short Range Wireless

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Report Table of Contents:

E.1 Background     1
        E.1.1 Wireless LANs and MANs     1
        E.1.2 WPANs     1
        E.1.3 WBANs     3
        E.1.4 Markets     3
E.2 Standards and Protocols     4
        E.2.1 Introduction     4
        E.2.2 ISM Band     4
        E.2.3 Short Range Platforms     5
E.3 Infrared, IrDA     13
        Figure E-1 Market Volume, Infrared-Enabled Data Communications     15
E.4 RFID     15
        E.4.1 Background     15
        E.4.2 Applications and Markets     15
        E.4.3 Established Markets     16
        E.4.4 Emerging Markets     16
        Figure E-2 Market Volume, RFID Tags     17
E.5 Near Field Communications 17
        E.5.1 Introduction     17
        E.5.2 Technology     17
        E.5.3 Market Growth     18
        Figure E-3 Volume of NFC-Enabled Transactions     19
E.6 BLE and iBeacons     19
E.7 Smart Home     20
        E.7.1 Home Area Networks     20
        E.7.2 The Smart Home     20
        E.7.3 Markets     21
        Figure E-4 Smart Home Automation RF Technology Market Volume     21
E.8 Healthcare     22
        E.8.1 Background     22
        E.8.2 Wearables: WBANs, MBANs, etc.     22
        E.8.3 Commercialization     25
        E.8.4 Cautions     26
        E.8.5 Market Development     26
        Figure E-5 Market Volume, Wireless Health Monitoring Devices 27

1.1 Wired Networks: LANs to WANs     29
1.2 Wireless LANs & MANs     31
        Table 1.1 Common Network Types, Characteristics     32
1.3 WPANs     37
1.4 WBANs     42
1.5 Markets     43

2.1 Introduction     45
2.2 ISM Band     45
2.3 M2M by Cellular     46
2.4 ANT/ANT+     46
2.5 IrDA 4    7
2.6 UWB     48
2.7 Wireless USB     51
2.8 Bluetooth     51
2.9 IEEE 802.15.4     56
        2.9.1 ISA100a     57
        2.9.2 WirelessHART     57
        2.9.3 Zigbee     58
        2.9.4 6LoWPAN     61
2.10 Z-Wave     64
2.11 Wi-Fi     67
        2.11.1 Wi-Fi Versions     67
        Table 2.1 Wi-Fi versions     68
        2.11.2 Wi-Fi Market Development     70
        2.12 60 GHz     71
        2.12.1 WiGig     71
        2.12.2 WirelessHD     75
        Table 2.2 Summary, Wireless Platforms     76

3.1 Signal Propagation     78
3.2 Antennas     78
3.3 MIMO     81
3.4 Modulation     83
3.5 Choice of Frequency Bands     84

4.1 Infrared Wireless     85
4.2 IrDA     88
4.3 Network Layers     88
4.4 IrDA vs. Bluetooth     90
        Table 4.1 Summary, IrDA vs. Bluetooth     91
4.5 Market Development     91
        Figure 4-1 Market Volume, Infrared-Enabled Data Communications     92

5.1 Introduction     93
5.2 Background     94
5.3 Technology     95
        5.3.1 Standards     95
        5.3.2 Tag & Reader Basics     96
        5.3.3 Passive RFID tags     98
        5.3.4 Semi-Passive or Battery-Assisted RFID Tags     99
        5.3.5 Active RFID Tags     99
        5.3.6 Tag Classes     100
        5.3.7 Frequency Bands & Ranges     100
5.4 RFID vs. Barcodes     103
5.5 Effectiveness     103
5.6 Cautions     105
5.7 Applications & Markets     106
        5.7.1 Established Markets     107
        5.7.2 Emerging Markets     108
        5.7.3 Market Growth     110
        Figure 5-1 Market Volume, RFID Tags     110
        Figure 5-2 Market Volume, RFID Tags, Readers, Software/Services     111
        Figure 5-3 Market Volume, RFID Tags, Unit Sales     111
        Figure 5-4 Tag Unit Sales, Retail     112
        Figure 5-5 Tag Unit Sales, Contactless Payments, Transportation     112
        Figure 5-6 Tag Unit Sales, Assessment Management, Supply Chain     113
        Figure 5-7 Tag Unit Sales, Healthcare, Passports, Other     113
        Figure 5-8 Geographic Segmentation, Market Volume, Tags, Readers, Software/Services     114
        Figure 5-9 Geographic Segmentation, Tags, Unit Sales     114

6.1 Introduction     115
6.2 Technology     116
6.3 Security     120
6.4 Applications & Market Growth     121
        6.4.1 Background     121
        6.4.2 Emerging Applications     122
        6.4.3 Markets Today     123
        6.4.4 Market Opportunities & Growth     125
        Figure 6-1 Volume of NFC-Enabled Transactions     129
        Figure 6-2 Volume of NFC-Enabled Transactions, Geographic Segmentation     129
        Figure 6-3 Unit Sales, NFC-Enabled Devices     130
        Figure 6-4 Market Volume, NFC-Related Systems and Software     130

7.1 Background     132
7.2 The Role of Bluetooth & BLE     132
7.3 Beacon Technology     133
7.4 Market Development     134
        Figure 7-1 Beacon Unit Shipments     137

8.1 Home Area Networks     138
8.2 The Smart Home     140
8.3 Smart Home Platforms     141
        Table 8.1 Protocol Comparison, Smart Home     141
        8.3.1 Wi-Fi     142
        8.3.2 Bluetooth & BLE     143
        8.3.3 Z-Wave     143
        8.3.4 ZigBee     145
        8.3.5 Insteon     145
8.4 Applications & Markets     147
        Figure 8-1 Smart Home Automation Systems and Services     147
        Figure 8-2 Smart Home Automation Systems and Services, By Region     148
        Figure 8-3 Smart Home Automation Systems Market Volume, Hardware     149
        Figure 8-4 Smart Home Automation Systems, Hardware Market, By Region     149
        Figure 8-5 Smart Home Automation RF Technology Market Volume     150
        Figure 8-6 Smart Home Automation, RF Technology Market Volume, By Region     150
        Figure 8-7 Smart Home RF Technology Markets: HVAC, Security/Access, Entertainment     152
        Figure 8-8 Smart Home RF Technology Markets: Kitchen, Lighting, Other     152
        Figure 8-9 Smart Home RF Markets by Platform: Bluetooth/BLE, Wi-Fi     153
        Figure 8-10 Smart Home RF Market by Platform: ZigBee, Z-Wave, Proprietary     153

9.1 Background & Introduction     158
9.2 Sensors     159
9.3 Protocols in Wireless Healthcare     160
        Figure 9.1 Range/Data Rate Characteristics of Common Wireless Healthcare Platforms     161
        9.3.1 WLAN - Wi-Fi     161
        9.3.2 Bluetooth     164
        9.3.3 ZigBee     165
        Table 9.1 ZigBee Frequencies and Data Rates     166
        9.3.4 ANT     166
        9.3.5 UWB     167
9.4 Security     170
9.5 Capsule endoscopy     171
9.6 Epidermal Electronics: E-Skin     173
        Figure 9.2 Epidermal Electronics     173
9.7 Wearables: WBANs, MBANs, etc.     176
        9.7.1 WBANs     176
        9.7.2 WBAN Platforms     178
        9.7.3 MBANs     178
        Figure 9.3 A Typical MBAN Usage Scenario     180
        Figure 9.4 Power Demand vs. Data Rate, MBANS vs. Common Protocols     183
        9.7.4 WBAN/MBAN Applications     185
9.8 mHealth & Remote Monitoring     189
        Table 9.2 Required Data Rates for Physiological Signals     190
9.9 Commercialization     191
9.10 Cautions     195
9.11 Market Development     198
        Figure 9-5 Overall Healthcare IT Market     198
        Figure 9-6 Market Volume, Wireless Health Monitoring Devices     199
        Figure 9-7 Wireless Health Monitoring Equipment Markets, Healthcare vs. Fitness     200
        Figure 9-8 Wireless Healthcare Equipment Market, by Application     201
        Figure 9-9 Wireless Healthcare Markets by Region     201
        Figure 9-10 Markets, Wireless Health & Fitness, by Platform: Wi-Fi, ZigBee, UWB     203
        Figure 9-11 Markets, Wireless Health & Fitness, by Platform: ANT, Bluetooth/BLE     204
9.12 Emerging mHealth and Monitoring Markets     204
        Figure 9-12 Overall Market, mHealth and Remote Monitoring     205
        Figure 9-13 Market Volume, Capsule Endoscopy Devices     206

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