Standard set of CarPC sensors
I would like to see a ‘minimum standard’ package of sensors developed for integration with a CarPC. I was thinking of naming it the OBE (On-board Environment) or OBS (On-board Sensor) board.
As smartphones have evolved rapidly over the last few years, there has been some minimum expectations set as to standard hardware that comes with them. These have included things like GPS chips, electronic compasses, accelerometers, etc. If a developer can depend on these sensors being there, then it can lead to some cool things being developed - such as augmented reality apps, barcode scanners etc. In my opinion, the most interesting programming happening nowadays is the experimental/play software taking advantage of these new computer senses.
In an automobile’s case, the sensors relating to the engine are already installed and accessible in a (somewhat) standard manner by using the car’s OBD port.
But there are other sensors on the market that we should be able to bundle into a module (open source hardware?) to be bought and installed so that CarPC apps can take advantage of them. These could include:
Temperature sensors, to include as a minimum:
- a standard ambient (external) sensor
- a cabin sensor
- a computer case sensor (included in the computer hardware?)
3 axis accelerometer
An Electronic compass
Ambient light sensor
Rain sensor (moisture?)
Car electrical system current sensor
The spec for the package should also have the ability to accommodate multiples of any of these if required.
If we can decide on a standard suite, it could be designed to be as simple as we now plug in a USB GPS. Instead of just getting our location from the USB connection, we can count on all of these other physical measurements as well.
As an aside, on the software side Microsoft has a new ‘platform’ in Windows 7, which provides a standard way of accessing these kind of things : the Windows Sensor and Location Platform.
I’m not sure if other OS’s have similar features. Regardless, we should be able to define a standard method of enumerating and interfacing with the board.