Sun SPOTs and the Internet of Things

Last week, I met John Yopp (@johnyopp) who runs a team called the Retail Applied Research. You might be familiar with the Retail (@OracleRetail) team, e.g. from reading David Dorf’s (@dordav) blog.

Anyway, John and his team are a lab; they work on prototypes, proving concepts for retail use cases, etc. Sound familiar?

Yeah, that’s what we do too. So, chatting with John was great time; we spent an hour chatting about our projects and kicking around ideas.

John and his team are much more hardware savvy than we are; they’re makers like Noel (@noelportugal). Remember his epic Christmas lights from 2009 and his Halloween candy dispenser from last year? I’m fascinated by the intersection of smart hardware with intertubes, a.k.a the internet of things, but I’m such a hardware n00b.

One of John’s projects involved Sun SPOTs, which can be controlled and addressed with Java. Check out the video.

There are some potentially awesome apps that could be built using the data provided by these devices and their sensors, and I’m excited to hear the ideas that John and his team have in mind.

Anyway, John has a ton of great projects going on, and I’m trying to convince him to either start up a blog externally or guest post here.




  1. Jake, thanks for the shout-out. The blog may happen.

    Noel, looking at your blog you’re definitely much further along as a maker than we are. Cool stuff. But, we’re interested and learning, mainly because of SunSPOT and Roger Meike. The SunSPOT was easy to leverage quickly because all you need to know is Java. At some point we want to learn more about servos and explore use cases around robotics.

  2. You should hook up with Noel and chat, perhaps a trade of SunSPOTs for a knowledge transfer? Let me know about your blog or if you want to guest here.

  3. They are really neat little doodads, lots of very cool stuff will come of them. Price seems a bit high, but even so.

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