Sensors Measure the Physical World in Your Windows 7 App

windows 7 bl h Yochay Kiriaty has pulled together a blog post describing how you can use the Windows 7 Sensor API to build compelling applications. His post is I Can Feel You – Using the Windows 7 Sensor Platform on the Windows Team Blog.

Windows 7 includes native support for sensors, which are devices that can measure physical phenomena such as temperature or location.

For example, automobile engines typically use a variety of sensors. These sensors are monitored by an onboard computer that continuously adjusts settings, such as engine timing, to maximize power and efficiency. A television may use an ambient light sensor to adjust the brightness of the picture to match changing room conditions. Even something as simple as a doorbell button acts as a rudimentary sensor to detect a human presence at the door.

While the purely mechanical doorbell fulfills its purpose, the information provided by complex sensors becomes far more powerful when it is combined with software. Modern sensors can provide a lot of data very quickly, and in a variety of formats, so software provides a natural mechanism for making sense of sensor data.

He writes, “In the past, using sensors tended to be a very vertical solution. There was no specific definition of what a sensor was, what its data fields were, or how to access those fields.

“In Windows 7, we set out to solve this problem from the ground up (as we usually do). We addressed these problems by providing out-of-the-box support for sensors. The Windows 7 Sensor and Location platform provides a set of standard interfaces that free developers from the need to become familiar with specific vendor devices and, instead, focus on their application logic, treating sensors as just another ‘standard’ input device.”

Windows 7 includes native support for sensors, expanded by a new development platform for working with sensors, including location sensors, such as GPS devices. The Windows Sensor and Location platform provides a standard way for device manufacturers to expose sensor devices to software developers and consumers, while providing developers with a standardized application programming interface (API) for working with sensors and sensor data.

For more information about using sensors in your Windows 7 application, see Sensor API on MSDN.

See Windows Team Blog posts:

  • I Can Feel You – Using the Windows 7 Sensor Platform
  • Using Sensors in Your Application – Native Implementation, Part 1
  • Using Sensors in You Application – Managed Part 1
  • Bruce D. Kyle
    ISV Architect Evangelist | Microsoft Corporation

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