Let me start letting you know that I am amazed by this device.
The Raspberry Pi Zero W is a very small computer running Raspian. That may suffice to convince you of what it can do.
Raspberry Pi Zero W (down) compared with a Raspberry Pi 3 model B (up)
This tiny device enables a lot of functionality in Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN). That is because the tiny Zero W, as well as its siblings, can serve as a sensor board. Furthermore, as it is equipped with WiFi and Bluetooth, it can easily be part of Internet of Things (IoT) deployments.
It is equipped with a USB OTG port, so you can just buy an USB-Ethernet adapter and plug the Zero W into your wired network with ease. In fact, I’m doing this right now in order to explore the uses this device may have on larger, complex deployments.
As Raspian has proved to be very friendly, it is possible to install Open vSwitch and have this very small computer controlled via a Software Defined Network (SDN) OpenFlow Controller.
Bringing this kind of processing power and applications very near to the sensor layer is an attractive posibility. Enabling fog computing, radio heterogeneity, and of course, SDN.
Stay tuned for more.