My father owns an Air Conditioning company in which we sell, install, and repair a/c's and heaters. Carrier is our primary brand. The other day we installed a Carrier Infinity System, and you can order an extra module for internet connectivity. It automatically detects your wireless network, and basically sets itself up, with only a few things needed to be entered in the thermostat. The customer can now log in via a Carrier-hosted webapp, and check/change the temperature in his house from anywhere he has internet access, remotely. Carrier also offers monitoring of the system, for a year based fee for which they have a promotion for right now. Also, the customer can elect to give the dealer (us) access to his system, in which case when he calls us to come service the unit in the event it isn't working right, we can log in and receive error codes, status reports, etc, so that before we leave the shop, we can know what parts we need to bring out there and other useful information. I just had to tell that story in response to Chris's comments about the heating and cooling.
Scott and Colin, I had been reading about the .NET Micro framework recently, and it was very cool to see it in action. This definitely has the potential to completely revolutionize the embedded industry/community. Previously this area has required vast EE knowledge as well as complex, low-level C and assembly code. I never imagined being able to control embedded devices with C#! I recently joined an open-source project and was talking to my team members today about how C# is being used for all kinds of cool things nowadays. This is truly amazing! I'm interested in how the performance measures up compared to native/low level code that's usually used in hardware. I've heard of BASIC being used on some PIC microcontrollers before, which is interpreted directly into the PIC chip's assembly code, and this was way back. Surely if that can be done with BASIC, then .NET can muster up some pretty good performance. Thanks for the great demonstration guys, and Scott I've been following you avidly on Twitter - keep up the good and interesting tech news! .NET is the best thing since sliced bread!