It is about time that Windows Phone 7 is used for a DIY project. The overall dominance of Android and iOS in DIY projects was stifling.
In a mission to use natural resources more efficiently, Engineer Mike Linnen of Morehead Technologies, has taken several Microsoft (MS) devices and services and turned it into a surprisingly useful DIY automated and controllable sprinkler system. A Netduino Plus controller is at the center of the system, controlling the sprinkler heads. The board uses MS .Net Micro Framework and an onboard Ethernet port. The board sits and waits for HTTP requests and monitors the manual pushbutton.
Using a Samsung Focus (Windows Phone 7 handset), the user can send commands through to the Netduino via MS cloud based service Azure. The concept is, Azure keeps the internet connection open to make remote procedure calls to the Netduino board. Linnen's idea was to give access to the board without "punch holes" in his internet router. In other words, access the Netduino behind a firewall.
A schedule is made for the sprinkler system to follow, or by a remote command from the Samsung Focus. Additionally, and the most amazing feature, the system monitors weather conditions. If the day is expected to get rain (over 39% chance) the sprinklers will not be turned on.
I see the usage far outreaching just a sprinkler system. Anything that can be scheduled or triggered remotely could use this tech. I look forward to reading more about MS products and DIY. Perhaps this project will get added to the Microsoft .Net Gadgeteer site.