eWeek is running an article on Sun's SPOT (Small Programmable Object Technology) that looks to be the start of something good, at least from the perspective of every geek that wished they had the tools to develop "the next big thing (TM)" in their basement.
We've created a platform that greatly simplifies development and experimentation with small wireless devices, and we've opened it up to the development community...
Open is almost always good. The one that really got me was:
And the jaw-droppingly cool "migratable application" functionality enables applications (with their complete state information) to be dragged from one Sun SPOT device to another while they're still running. So you could, for example, move software off a SPOT device with low battery power onto another device with more battery life, avoiding loss of state information.
I'm not sure how I feel about software being able to statefully leap from one computing device to another. Worms come to mind. I hope there's protection in the devices themselves, since the JRE seems to be the OS.
The initial price of the development kit (US$550) isn't cheap, but it's not out of the reach of the average hobbyist, either. If this platform takes off the way Sun hopes it does, basic components will be available to grow the "implementation space" of SPOT technology. If Sun opens the hardware to the point that manufacturers can produce their own devices to a standard, this new technology may be the enabler of many of the things we've been promised for years.