Imagine Cup and NETMF (Part 1)

The Imagine Cup just finished an once again there were some great projects as always.  This year, even more than in the past, there were a number of projects that included the .NET Micro Framework platform.  I have had the opportunity to talk with several of the teams about their projects and their experiences with NETMF.  Here is the first one.

The first team is an stalwart team of one – Kevin Pfister of the UK .  Kevin’s project is the next generation of baby monitors.  Where the existing monitors give you little data (maybe just sound) and just instantaneous data (sound right now) and only the ability to alert the parents (baby crying!!), Kevin’s solution goes much further.  He has developed an extensible system that currently supports things like  2 child temperatures and and ambient temperature, sound, motion, ambient light, and more and does trend analysis on it.  For example, he looks at gradual changes like a fever developing through the night or patterns that occur across days like sleeping patterns.  The system can take independent action on the data as in – baby too cold, turn up the room temperature. 

It is also more than just your baby’s comfort that this might prove useful for.  There is apparently some data that indicates an association between abnormal environmental conditions and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.  Kevin is continuing to work on this project and is looking at adding more sensor modalities or perhaps having the crib respond with motion to sound to the baby. 

Kevin used a Device Solutions board running NETMF for the temperature interface.  There you can set the desired temperature and see what the current temperature is.  The NETMF fit his space/power needs.  His issues with NETMF were that it didn’t support Generics and that the UI implementation is less rich than the full .NET so he had to build his own buttons and controls.  He say that is ok – it was a learning experience. 

Kevin has graduated and is currently working on low level embedded software (mostly WinCE).

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