"The Internet of Things" -- it's a bit like the promised land of web services, sensors networks and cloud computing all wrapped in to one.
ARM has created the mBed microcontroller, which helps developers toy around with their rough ideas until they've settled on the final version of an embedded app. Having tools like this's sure to set imaginations ablaze with new ideas for smart home appliances.
The mBed project was part of a Wired.com article about wireless energy sensor technologies. The story also features EnOcean, a Germany-based manufacturer of wireless lighting and thermostat controls that capture solar, thermal and kinetic energy.
Another great technology in the offing is focused on smart lighting options being developed by NXP, a Netherlands-based semi-conductor maker. NXP is installing its IP-based "Green Chip" in compact fluorescent and LED light bulb. The light bulbs can then "communicate" with the light switches, and like EnOcean, homeowners can control the light bulb from any internet-connected computer, mobile device or TV so they can cut down on how much energy they use. This video gives a more in-depth explanation, and as you can see, it's not just about making things more convenient. It also puts the tools in place to create a smart grid that helps cut down on the amount of energy that we use.
[Via: Next at Microsoft]