Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sensors as actuators

Phil Windley, the CTO of Kyntex, has reported recently in his Blog about "talking back to a thermostat".  Phil has constructed a thermostat as event producer,  The example he talks about is changing the display color, however one can think on even more meaningful actions like turning on and off the air-condition.  The thinking of sensors as vehicles for human awareness is not enough,  in our universe, there will be more sensors than people, and especially much more sensors than people who are able to look at sensor reading treat is as data (small or big) and make sense of this data.  We are more and more move to era of autonomic computing, the Mars rover "curiosity" is largely autonomic, since the speed of light barrier creates a time delay that makes it virtually impossible for remote control.   We'll see more and more sensors who will also serve as actuators, or smart sensors directly talking with smart actuators (e.g. thermostat to the air-condition
controller).    The required event processing  (filter, aggregation,  maybe even patterns that takes into consideration other sensors' input, like presence of people in the house)  can be distributed between the smart sensor and the smart actuators without any middleware.    More on embedded event processing - later.  

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