There is a new book that is not completely out yet but I am really excited about it. The book is ‘Getting Started with the Internet of Things’ by Cuno Pfister. ( http://oreilly.com/catalog/0636920013037 ) There are a number of reasons that I really like this book – listed below in no particular order:
The Internet of Things (IOT) is defined as everyday objects connected through the internet. These can be appliances, cars, health care devices, whatever you can think of as generating information that can be used elsewhere or of consuming information and taking action. There is a huge movement to connected devices driven by the efficiencies and new applications that this enables. If you haven't heard this already, the number of devices connected through the internet is already estimated to be as big as the World Wide Web and is projected to be an order of magnitude bigger in the next few years. Put another way, I have seen estimates for the number of devices per person on the globe running from ~7 to hundreds. Regardless of which extreme of the estimates you accept, this will be the major portion of new embedded devices made in the near future. This is also a great story for .NET because these devices are part of a solution that spans the device, web applications, the servers, and the cloud and with .NET skills and tools, you can work across that entire range. This book shows you how.
Cuno takes you through the steps of creating an application built on the Netduino Plus that connects up with Pachube.com. The Netduino Plus is a brand new board from Secret Labs that provides Ethernet connectivity on an extremely small package for under $60. Since it is a new board, I have been looking for a good project to try it out with but this book does a better job that I would have by a bunch. Cuno creates a RESTful connection to Pachube.com which is a site made for connecting IOT devices. If you go out to that site, you will instantly see all the devices that are currently connected all over the globe. Each of these devices defines its own data streams so you can use this site for pretty much anything that you can think of. That means that you can create a real IOT application.
Cuno Pfister knows his stuff and has made the book very readable and useful for a broad range of readers. He has been the Managing Director of a successful embedded devices company (Oberon microsystems) for some time. His thesis advisor was Niklaus Wirth – the creator of Pascal, Modula-2, and Oberon. His biography includes building big systems like a hydropower plant monitoring system with 10,000 sensors and small systems like an embedded Java RTOS.
Here is a truly unique part of this experience – at least for me. This book is in ‘Rough Cuts’. That means that it is not done yet. What is done is enough to take you through almost all the core parts of the example but you still have time to have some input on the book. That’s right, they have provided a channel for you to comment and make suggestions. You can have a part in making this the best book on the subject that comes out. In ‘Rough Cuts’, you have the option of buying the download and getting updates as it is completed or buying both the downloads and the eventual printed copy or just pre-ordering the printed version. Whichever you do, this book belongs on the shelf of any .NET developer who is thinking about devices.