Wireless sensor networks (WSNs) are composed of thousands of smart-sensing nodes, which capture environment data for a sink node. Such networks present new challenges when compared with traditional computer networks, namely in terms of smart node hardware constraints and very limited energy resources. Ubiquitous computing can benefit from WSNs from the perspective that sensed data can be used instead of the user without explicit intervention, turning ubiquitous computing into a reality. Internet connectivity in WSNs is highly desirable, featuring sensing services at a global scale.
Two main approaches are considered: proxy based or sensor node stack based. This second approach turns sensors into data-producing hosts also known as The Internet of Things. For years, the TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) suite was considered inappropriate for WSNs, mainly due to the inherent complexity and protocol overhead for such limited hardware. However, recent studies made connecting WSNs to the Internet possible, namely using sensor node stack based approaches, enabling integration into the future Internet. This paper surveys the current state-of-the-art on the connection of WSNs to the Internet, presents related achievements, and provides insights on how to develop IP-based communication solutions for WSNs today.
Read More: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.