Within academia, wireless sensor networks have witnessed a tremendous upsurge in the last decade, which is mainly attributed to their unprecedented operating conditions and hence unlimited research challenges. Within industry, the projected business opportunities are huge with, e.g. according to Frost & Sullivan, an expected market size of approximately $2b by 2012 at a compound annual growth rate of 41.9%, therefore causing the interest in this technology to augment dramatically. Due to the unique design constraints, however, none of the grand communities - such as computing, telecommunications, physics, biology, etc. - can make such systems work efficiently on their own. The largest cross-community design exercise to-date is hence well underway which is well reflected in the nature of the intellectual property pools created in the past years. The aim of this paper is to expose and discuss a few early milestone as well as latest IT and telecommunications patents in this vibrant area.
Wireless sensor networks, embedded systems, energy constraint systems, cross-layer design
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