Project Sun SPOT
Programming the Real World
Inspiring Java developers to create a whole new breed of devices and technologies - and accelerating the growth of the "Internet of Things"
For years, Sun has been saying that one day everything of value will be part of the Internet. This vision of an Internet of Things includes not just computers that talk to each other and exchange data, but virtually everything-all connected, all-communicating and sharing data, all the time. Cars, bicycles, refrigerators, astronauts, toys, even trees will collect and deliver diverse data to equally diverse devices (yes, trees - embedded with sensors that detect climate changes and animal movements).
That's a lot of data to process, manage and store. Over the past 24 years Sun has built its business by creating the back-end infrastructure to handle vast volumes of data: servers, storage systems, sophisticated networking infrastructure, data management software, and so on. And now, with Project Sun SPOT (Small Programmable Object Technology), an ongoing research project at Sun Labs, Sun is giving developers a platform for inspiration and innovation on the device side.
We've created a platform that greatly simplifies development and experimentation with small wireless devices, and we've opened it up to the development community, said Roger Meike, research director for Project Sun SPOT. There will be tremendous opportunities to apply and expand this technology in all sorts of new and exciting ways.
Project Sun SPOT began at Sun Labs in late 2003 as an exploration of wireless transducer technologies. Since then, the project team has been investigating new ways to make small devices smarter, more secure, and more capable-with considerable success. For example, the "Squawk VM" (a small J2METM virtual machine) provides the ability to run wireless transducer applications "on the metal," saving overhead and improving performance; "SPOTworld" simplifies development by providing a single tool for programming, configuring, managing and monitoring Sun SPOT devices; and the use of Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) dramatically improves device security.
Over time, as innovation continues, as the Sun SPOT hardware platform gets even smaller and as more powerful processors, new sensors, new radios, and new power supplies are developed, the platform will inspire a growing number of real-world applications.
Today, the SunSPOT team is focusing its ongoing research and innovation efforts on: