Just got back form TechEd 2011 where Microsoft’s smallest platform had the biggest booth (no kidding). We also had a lot of help manning the booth – thanks to all the volunteers there.
The word got out that we had some cool demos as well. Here is what we were showing. We had two ‘hand’s on’ .NET Gadgeteer stations with the offer that they could build a functional digital camera in under 3 minutes. Lots of people wanted to watch us build stuff but a much smaller group was willing to actually put themselves on the line. Here is one brave soul. (If you haven’t seen Gadgeteer yet, check it out at http://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/Clint/NET-Gadgeteer.) Even if the audience was not willing to demonstrate their programming prowess, we could have sold a large number of kits if they were available. People love to build things that they can interact with. (See the last blog for availability - http://blogs.msdn.com/b/netmfteam/archive/2011/05/02/net-gadgeteer-live-as-an-open-source-project.aspx).
On the other side of the booth, we were showing the .NET Micro Framework story on the Internet of Things – one programming model and tool chain from the smallest devices to the cloud and everything between. For this we repurposed the devices from the Curious Cloud Contest and had them talking to the Azure back end. David Pugmire from the Silverlight team volunteered to build a new app for displaying the data. As you can see, the app displays the data from the photocell, the thermistor, and the accelerometer so that we could show almost instantaneous response to changes on the sensor platform.
This IoT message was very well received. I had to spend much less time describing the explosion of connected devices. People are now more aware of this shift. A number of folks we spoke with already had devices in their solution or were thinking about the potential of adding them. Being able to build some of those devices with .NET instead of having to hire or subcontract for other skill sets was an easy argument to make.
All up – a fun show and a great opportunity to continue to spread the word on NETMF.