WHAT'S IN THIS CHAPTER?
Understanding the sensor types and location devices
Getting a list of installed sensors
Getting specific sensor information
Working with other sensor and location devices
For many years now, specialty hardware designers have created special drivers and other software to make their hardware accessible from Windows. It's possible to obtain special scientific sensors for Windows that rely on the RS422 and other standard interfaces. These sensors help scientists of all sorts to gather information and analyze it. Sensors also play a role in industrial automation. However, the fact that sensors are now in many homes is probably what prompted Microsoft to begin adding sensor support to Windows 7. Homes now have Windows-based security systems. You can obtain products to monitor the weather outside your home or to check on your children as they play. At some point, you'll probably be able to turn on your stove and tell it to cook dinner before your arrival home. The refrigerator will eventually tell you that you're out of milk. All these applications rely on sensors of various sorts, and they all require specialized device drivers and software.
This chapter assumes that you've installed the Windows API Code Pack. You can find the instructions for installing the Code Pack in the "Obtaining the Windows API Code Pack for Microsoft .NET Framework" section of Chapter 4. The Code Pack contains everything you need to work ...