Wireless technology provides promising possibilities and benefits—reduced cost of cabling; measurements previously prohibited by physical location; distributed measurements; and intelligent, self-healing networks. Wireless is poised to play a significant role in shaping the capabilities of future measurement systems. But what does that mean exactly? Will wireless replace wired systems? Will existing investments still be useful in future systems? What important decisions should be made before selecting a wireless data acquisition device? When should wireless not be considered as a possible solution?

There are many questions that need to be answered and there is still time to contemplate the possibilities before your existing measurement systems run the risk of technology obsolescence. This paper helps to answer some of these questions by considering several high-level design decisions of wireless measurement systems and how to complement existing wired systems with wireless technologies.