IoT (1) .NET Gadgeteer

Internet of Things has gain interest over the pas months/years. Not that strange, because the world is becoming more connected everyday. Everything and everyone is connected on every spot on this globe. On vacation in the early days you send postcards to the ones left behind. A vacation was getting away for real. For a long time there were no Dutch newspapers in foreign countries, so news from the home country was also blocked during the vacation.

But now everyone has a mobile and tablets. Almost everywhere we have internet and we keep each other posted over the internet via Twitter, FaceBook, mail or other media.

Not only humans are more connected, even devices are connected. Most cars have a button to call the garage if there are problems. Your mobile is connected to a satellite for its location. This will expand over time. We already have a lot of sensors in our house to automatically heat or cool down our homes. With current home automation we can control from a distant our lamps in house. Our refrigerators will get sensors and put a order if the stock is low. Smart watches will check your heart and your health. Perhaps in the future it will contact a ambulance or a doctor based on spikes in your measurements. Lots of other applications will come.

All those things have to be programmed. Previous we used electronic circuits etc and low level programming languages. But nowadays we want to do it more easier. If possible with languages we already use. It will make it cheaper in the end.

There is something like .NET Gadgeteer. This is a set of modules and a motherboard to create and try out an idea. This is programmed with the .NET Microsoft Framework and makes use of Visual Studio 2010.


The designer is very WYSIWYG. You drag a component on the canvas and clicks on connect, it will show how to connect the component to the motherboard.

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In code via intellisense you get the methods on the component. Everything is done with C#, so pretty comfy. You can deploy it and run it on the motherboard.

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Also debugging and trying your solution.


The .NET Micro Framework is very old. The successor is Windows Embedded. It needs different hardware. Hardware which runs Windows in some form.

In my next blog post I will tell about the Intel Galileo motherboard which runs Windows.

About Marcel Meijer

For over 20 years this 46 year old goes into the world of ICT. Currently he is mainly concerned with Azure, Cloud, C#, Software Development, Architecture in general and Windows 8 / Windows Phone 8. He works as a Cloud Lead Consultant at Xpirit. In his spare time he is. NET track owner and board member of the SDN.
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