Connecting the dots …. (From Software to Hardware)

I have talked about many things in my posts till now….. cloud , desktop app, web app, mobile app…..and how you can integrate them. But still one important hasn’t been discussed yet and that is “Hardware”…obviously for a process industry hardware are of utmost importance. But how this “Hardware” thing fits into picture of application development paradigms.

I am discussing one solution in this post.Many other solutions are possible. As I am comfortable with Visual Studio, C#/VB programming, i would like to discuss one important framework “.NET MICRO FRAMEWORK” . This is a stripped .NET version suited for interfacing hardware. Various companies are providing complete toolkit (hardware motherboard, associated sensors) using the above mentioned .NET micro framework.

One solution i had came across is “NetDuino“. It uses .NET micro framework. You can do your programming direct from Visual Studio 2010. .NET 4.0 is also supported. Microsoft also has a research project “.NET Gadgeteer” using the same framework.

Such embedded systems and electronic devices can be communicated and interacted using this .NET micro framework.

So we have Cloud, We have Windows Phone Apps, We have Electronic hardware.

Lets connect the dots…..

Take a example.

Problem : These is some system which goes into an alarming or critical situation, you get a pushed notification on your mobile with Windows Phone OS. Now you are outside the city and you want to start or stop some machine from your mobile app.

Solution: Lets say you want to create a cloud based solution ( i will be taking windows azure solution here) to create a solution mechanism for the same.

Step 1:  Store the data from devices to Azure

Step 2: Create a notification service which looks into the data, and in case of any irregularities/critical situation, generates a message

Step 3: Using Windows Phone push notification, that notification will be sent to your windows phone app (on your mobile device)

Step4: You view the message

Step 5: You choose to take necessary action, you press the “Stop the machine” button

Step 6: Your action went to Azure Cloud

Step 7: Notification sent to App Connected to Netduino (which in turn will be connected to hardware mechanism to stop the machine may be relays or what ever)

Step 8: the APP get the notification, send message to NetDuino and then finally the machine will be stopped.


So, here we  just looked into one example, endless solutions can be framed for your problem. But the above mentioned path is not hypothetical , it can be done using the above mentioned technologies.

So , go ahead … are only limited by your creativity. All you have to do is to “Connect the dots” ….


Abhishek is a software architect, developer and Pluralsight author. He is very passionate about working with data especially in the field of machine learning. He has authored several courses on machine learning which are available on Pluralsight. He has been involved in several software development projects, which involves various machine learning techniques. His work focuses on architecting and developing applications especially in the area of monitoring, optimization, pattern recognition, and fault detection. His professional interests include software design patterns, agile practices, and various technologies such as WCF, WF, WPF, Silverlight, SQL Server, Entity Framework and ASP.NET MVC. He is also a Microsoft Certified Professional (HTML5, Javascript, CSS3).

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