Sun SPOTs are incredibly cool sensor devices produced by, well, Sun Microsystems. They seem to have a real momentum right now.
At Jazoon in Zurich Sun’s Simon Ritter gave a top presentation about the SPOTs in general an fed us with some background info. Since I’m working on my own SPOT application it didn’t come as a surprise that much of it wasn’t new to me. Nonetheless, I learned that the Sun Squawk J2ME implementation was started as a totally independent project and that it should be easily portable to different mobile devices as its native layer is very thin. Also, I knew it but wasn’t fully aware that I can have several applications running on one and the same SPOT in parallel. The fact that a SPOT contains several boards that serve separate purposes underline that they were built with extensibility in mind. Simon demonstrated how to control a Looking Glass user interface with a P5 Data Glove. It wasn’t quite like what you might know from the “Minority Report” movie, yet.
What I don’t get though, is why Sun stresses that SPOTs can (and should) be used for real-world applications. Yet, all they ever present and demonstrate are toy-related “fun products”. Good for nerds, but not so good for management making decisions.
Ergon had a dual-player Arkanoid application with the two bars controlled by Sun SPOTs tilted left/right. It’s fun to play, but takes some time to get accustomed to the responsiveness of the sensor application. I want to build that, too! It shouldn’t take too long to turn a regular mouse-controlled Arkanoid implementation into a SPOT-controlled toy.