Wireless is nothing new; for more than three decades it has been part of our daily lives. From cell phones to garage door openers we know the existence and reliability of (or lack thereof) these systems. As with any technology that advances in the commercial level, it usually takes years to get the new technology into industry, where the requirements are generally very different than for commercial grade products.
The environment where the industrial equipment resides can be very harsh for a standard commercial product. Variables like vibration, shock, humidity, temperature and EMI play a major factor when designers write the specification of a product. Industrial products also need to fulfill specific certifications that will allow the product to be installed in a certain application, i.e. CSA Class1Div2 for Hazardous Environment where the module’s body temperature or any spark due to a connector or an electromechanical relay can ignite an explosion in a hazardous atmosphere. There are numerous types of standards in several industries, i.e. Nuclear, Mining, Transportation, Ship Building, etc.