Microsoft has plans for your home: with its new Lab of Things, it wants to suck up data from around your home so you can probe, analyse and experiment to your heart's content. The new beta software links together physical data, collected from sensors scattered around your home, with Microsoft's Home OS house automation software.
If you want to run an experiment -- analysing and controlling sensor data and settings in your home (or elsewhere...) -- the idea is that Lab of Things will provide a simple backend for you.
The data is sucked up from your home and stored in the cloud -- and so experiments can be tweaked from anywhere, even your phone. It's not just tied to your home either, because the cloud-based nature means you can share data amongst other users, perhaps even extending experiments to your entire neighbourhood or town.
It's both a great way into basic analysis and experimentation for beginners and enthusiasts who can't really code, and could also free up time for more hardcore scientists who'd rather spend their time considering data than writing code to acquire it. The system's free to use while it's in beta. But be warned: the licence doesn't allow for commercial use. You can grab the beta Lab of Things SDK here. [Microsoft via All Things D]