Today at its Faculty Summit, Microsoft Research introduced the beta of Lab of Things, a new platform from the company that will support sensor information from the physical world in a simple way, allowing for more experiment by more people in more places.
Lab of Things is a system that links together physical data collection and Microsoft’s HomeOS. HomeOS is Microsoft’s bid to turn your house into something slightly more automated. If you want to run an experiment that employs sensor data, Lab of Things will provide a backend for you. Also, you can access your experiment via mobile devices, store and share data in the cloud, and adjust the experiment itself by visiting the site itself.
Assume that you wanted to run an experiment that involved collecting temperature data from the top of radio towers around your city. Once you installed your sensors on the towers, and linked their data flow to the Internet, you could employ Lab of Things as the tool to collect, monitor, and analyse the information. Microsoft calls the service “near real-time.”
One of the Lab of Things’ objectives is to lower friction between idea and experiment by cutting out the need for scientists and software engineers. Here, have some code that works. This will allow for more total experiment, and also more experiment by the less well-funded; DIY hackers.
The lab costs nothing, but there is a caveat: If you are an academic collaborator, you can freely use the Lab of Things for your research. The Lab of Things license does not allow commercial use.
You can snag the beta Lab of Things SDK here.