Microsoft today announced remote sensing features that have been added to the sensor platform on Windows 10.
A remote sensor is a sensor that’s usually not on the device running the application. This device may or may not be running Windows and may not even have a display or a user interface.
There are primarily two flavors when it comes to remote sensors:
- Remote sensors that are on Things with their apps on Windows devices. For example, we have a multitude of Things in smart homes and fitness gadgets all around us, and these devices have sensors for things like temperature, humidity, air quality, heart rate and blood pressure, just to name a few. In this case, the sensors are on these Things, but the app itself may be on your phone or desktop device.
- Remote sensors that are on Windows devices with their apps on Things. If you have a Thing that does not run an operating system or does not have sensors, then in this case, you are remotely using the sensors that are on your phone or your tablet to provide inputs/data to your Things.
OpenT2T for remote sensing
One of the problems we have been attempting to solve over the last several months has been how to connect to the plethora of Things appearing everywhere. Sensors are part of several of these Things, especially in the health and fitness and smart home areas. As these Things use multiple communication protocols—like Bluetooth, Zigbee, Zwave, et cetera—it has been challenging for both sensor manufacturers and app developers to build a solution for interaction.
Windows IoT Remote Client
Windows IoT Remote Client has been recently introduced to remotely control Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps running on Window 10 IoT Core devices. Remote control can be established from any Windows 10 desktop PC, tablet, or phone, putting a display on a device without one.
Check out this video demonstrating the technology. As you can see, an accelerometer on the tablet is used to remotely control a Thing that is a Windows IoT Core device. The code you have to write for accessing the sensors remotely is exactly the same code used to implement an on-device local sensor. Code samples can be found here.
Users connect to their Windows 10 IoT Core devices through a Microsoft Store application installed on their Windows 10 companion device of choice. The UI generated by the UWP application running on the Windows 10 IoT Core device is remoted to the display of the companion device, while input and sensor data are sent in the opposite direction.
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