Sensors that monitor a variety of physical world conditions such as thermal, mechanical, chemical, optical, and acoustical, have long been employed in a variety of applications. Utilizing wireless technologies for sensor network solutions affords the potential for new capabilities and increased efficiencies.

Various proprietary wireless solutions exist for sensor network applications, but there is yet to be a widely deployed solution. However, new 802.11 designs that meet battery life requirements for sensor nodes enable organizations to capitalize on their existing 802.11 infrastructure investment while lowering costs.

This paper provides a brief introduction to the 802.11 standard and its current use, as well as an overview of sensor networks, and explains why new, low-power consumption 802.11 silicon should be adopted for these networks.