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A System And Method For Prototyping Distributed Physical-Digital Interfaces

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000204392D
Publication Date: 2011-Feb-23

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Developers with little distributed programming experience and no hardware engineering background have difficulty building prototypes that can quickly test physical-digital interfaces. With increasing numbers of networked, digital devices, there is both the opportunity and the challenge to develop new, distributed, physical-digital interfaces. But for developers with little distributed programming experience and no hardware engineering background, exploring this physical-digital domain can be difficult and frustrating. This disclosure describes a Toolkit designed to help developers easily add quickly prototype network-enabled devices with physical-digital interfaces. The hardware component allows developers to plug in multiple sensors and actuators from an extensible set of "tools" in the Toolkit. The software component supports distributed computing through a very straightforward Application Programmer’s Interface (API). Developers create spaces on the network and populate them with active objects such as virtual sensors. Other applications can react to changes issued from these objects. The combination of the easy-to-use hardware and software components allows developers to quickly distribute and connect sensors and actuators. This disclosure describes the hardware system and software architecture, presents several "examplets", and discusses future work.