Sun pushes pervasive computing

Company creates kit aimed at academics and hobbyists for building Java-based wireless-sensor applications. Photo: Sun's SPOT kit

Martin LaMonica Former Staff writer, CNET News
Martin LaMonica is a senior writer covering green tech and cutting-edge technologies. He joined CNET in 2002 to cover enterprise IT and Web development and was previously executive editor of IT publication InfoWorld.
Martin LaMonica
Sun Microsystems detailed on Monday a Java-based wireless-sensor development kit that it intends to sell to researchers, universities and hobbyist programmers.

Called Project Sun Small Programmable Object Technology (Sun Spot), the kit includes three devices and Java development tools. Each device includes a processor board based on the ARM9 chip, a radio and interfaces to transfer data.

Sun Spot kit

One device is designed as a base station that can communicate with the two sensors, which can measure light and temperature. All three devices are battery powered and can fit in the palm of a hand.

Sun Spot came out of Sun's development labs. By creating the kit, Sun hopes to spur development of Java-based applications that use wireless sensors.

"Computing is no longer just about PCs, laptops or even cell phones, but rather about the promise of pervasive computing, which will largely be enabled by sensors," Glenn Edens, Sun's senior vice president for communications, media and entertainment, said in a statement.

Applications will be able to run on the sample devices without an embedded operating system, according to Sun.

Sun expects to release the Sun Spot kit for $499 in May. It will include Sun's NetBeans open-source Java development tool.

Sun Spot was announced during a Sun-sponsored education conference in New York meant to strengthen Sun's ties to academic groups.