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Summary form only for tutorial. Wireless sensor networks has been a buzzword for the last few years in both research as well as the industry. The emergence of such networks can be attributed to recent advances in wireless communications and electronics which drastically reduced both the size and costs of various electronic components, including sensors. This has lead to the vision of networks comprising hundreds to thousands of low-cost, low-powered, multifunctional sensors that are deployed over a region to collect information. These sensors are usually randomly deployed (e.g. air-dropped) over the region and by communicating with one another using wireless (radio frequency (RF)) links they organize themselves into a network to acquire the necessary data required by the application(s) and deliver the data to a collection point (commonly known as a sink). Ask any researcher and this will be the most likely scenario that motivates their research. We shall first explore the outcomes of the research in wireless (RF) sensor networks over the last few years. Then, we take a reality check and find out what kind of sensor networks are indeed being deployed and used in real applications, taking examples from the local scene in Singapore. Then, we revert back to crystal ball gazing and provide an overview of future variants and applications of wireless (not necessarily RF) sensor networks.