Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 December 2014
The wireless technology multimedia sensor network (WMSN) is a multidisciplinary technology. Researchers from diverse fields such as wireless and ad-hoc sensor networks, multimedia, distributed signal processing, control theory, and embedded systems have contributed new ideas to innovate real-life applications. Advances in embedded electronics and MEMS have resulted in greater processing power per unit size of the sensor nodes in such a way that today it is possible to bring them together in a more powerful, complex, and compact manner. With the increased processing power, it is now able to capture and process complex multimedia data such as video, audio, and images. For example, with the help of new sensing technologies, it is possible to provide proper images and audio-visual feeds in different surveillance applications, in addition to the scalar parameters of environment. The easy availability of inexpensive miniaturized hardware such as cameras and microphones, the advancements in distributed signal processing, and multimedia source coding allow much richer sampling of the environment than traditional WSNs. This trend opened up new opportunities for protocol designers to propose effective and energy-efficient solutions of the existing problems [1–62].
Applications of WMSNs introduce new multimedia features in addition to the general capabilities of WSNs, to enrich them in terms of monitoring. Along with enhancing the existing sensor network applications, WMSNs use various multimedia-specific ideas to pioneer new opportunities in this field. We classify these applications of WMSNs into several categories and explain them briefly in this chapter.