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With the promotion of industry community, wireless sensor network (WSN) has been widely applied to many fields. In this paper, current research status and possible development trend of application-oriented wireless sensor network (AOWSN) are introduced firstly. Second, we analyze and compare the short distance wireless communication protocols that can be used in WSN such as ZigBee, Wibree, Rubee, IEEE 802.15.4a, Z-Wave etc. The advantage and disadvantage of these protocols are discussed. Third, AOWSN hardware core modules, including radio frequency (RF) and micro controller unit (MCU) chips are analyzed. We then investigate the hardware components of current popular WSN nodes such as MICAz, iMote2, SPOT, and XYZ. Fourth, we describe the Cicada series of nodes that are developed in this paper. Finally, we draw conclusion.