The SideShow team is proud to announce the beta release of the Windows SideShow Device SDK For .NET Micro Framework 3.0!
This SDK provides a new, touch-based SideShow interface for devices running the .NET Micro Framework 3.0, plus libraries and samples for creating your own applications, themes, gadget types and more. The touch UI scales to screen resolutions of 240x320 to 640x480, and the previously released QVGA button-driven interfaces have been updated to run on top of the .NET Micro Framework 3.0.
This release makes a number of interesting devices possible:
· Displays in keyboards, embedded in laptops, and USB Gaming displays:
These types of devices offer great possibilities both for PC Gaming and productivity applications. Since they can be interacted with at the same time as a full-screen computer game, it’s possible to change music, check instant messages, etc. without having to alt-tab out of the game. In addition, the door is open to display supplementary information about the game – walkthroughs, statistics, maps, etc.—while the user is playing the game.
In the office, the ability to see information from multiple sources at a glance on the home page helps avoid the need to constantly window manage. You can also use gadgets to do things like view and control multiple clipboards, control a Powerpoint presentation from your laptop while viewing your speaker notes and upcoming slides, keep your inbox or calendar available at a glance at all times, and more. With embedded laptop displays, when your battery is low you could also use the SideShow display to listen to MP3s, browse email, etc. for much longer than you would be able to were the system awake.
· Companion Devices, Remote Controls, or “Fridge Magnet” devices.
It’s also possible to bring information from your PC throughout the home. With Wi-Fi support in the .NET Micro Framework 3.0, you can have a SideShow display in your kitchen where you can control music as well as see your calendar, weather, and news feeds. On a remote control, you can use touch to interact with your media library, TV Guide, and schedule TV recordings through Windows Media Center. On a wireless device, you can easily control PowerPoint presentations as you would with an embedded display—seeing upcoming slides, speaker notes, etc—while having the flexibility of a wireless device and potentially the ability to use it as a portable media player as well.
There’s a lot of interesting possibilities – we’re looking forward to seeing what people come up with! To download the beta, head to http://connect.microsoft.com/sideshow .