Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) has drawn the attention of the research community in the past few years. This growing interest can be largely credited to new applications enabled by large-scale networks. Most deployed wireless sensor networks measure scalar data such as temperature, pressure, humidity, or the location of objects. On a general note, most of the applications have low bandwidth demands and are usually delay tolerant. While the traditional wireless sensor networks consist of low-bandwidth sensors with limited capabilities, camera sensor networks can provide visual verification, in-depth situational awareness, recognition, and other capabilities.
In recent years, wireless sensor networks have inspired tremendous research interest in diverse application fields such as structural health monitoring, environmental monitoring, and military and security surveillance. A typical wireless sensor network consists of sensor nodes, each equipped with various kinds of sensors, deployed over a geographical region of interest. Most of the applications are centered towards harvesting information from the physical environment, performing a simple processing on the extracted data and transmitting it to remote locations.
A new direction in wireless sensor network application design centers on the idea of enabling the network to learn the behavior of the trend in the environment rather than merely making measurements and reporting about a single event or information of interest. A Wireless Multimedia Sensor Network (WMSN) is defined as a network of wireless embedded devices that allow retrieving video or audio streams, still images, and scalar sensor data.
Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) mainly deals with scalar data such as temperature, humidity, and light which are very suitable for low rate and low power. The commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) CMOS camera has fostered researchers to push WSN a step further. The unique properties of multimedia data delivery pose fresh challenges for resource constrained sensor networks. Transmitting raw data is very costly while limited processing power prevents sophisticated multimedia processing at the sensor nodes.
Wireless sensor networks offer an attractive choice for low cost solutions for transmitting data wireless to a database to be evaluated.
Wireless networks of visual sensors have recently emerged as a new type of sensor-based intelligence system. The goal of the visual sensor network is to provide a user with visual information from an arbitrary viewpoint within the monitored field.
Research says that wireless networks in combination with image sensors open up a multitude of previously unthinkable sensing applications. In an on-going project, we are designing and implementing a sensor node with a camera which would be capable of acquiring still images, transfer the data onto a personal computer through wireless communication, and store the image on a personal computer.