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PC25. Windows 7: The Sensor and Location Platform: Building Context-Aware Applications.  Dan Polivy Lead Program Manager Microsoft Corporation. What If…?. …your computer knew where you were and adjusted itself accordingly? Update local weather, news, events Automatically adjust clock

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Windows 7 the sensor and location platform building context aware applications


Windows 7: The Sensor and Location Platform: Building Context-Aware Applications

 Dan Polivy

Lead Program Manager

Microsoft Corporation

What if
What If…?

  • …your computer knew where youwere and adjusted itself accordingly?

    • Update local weather, news, events

    • Automatically adjust clock

  • …your computer could sense its environment and optimize your experience?

    • Adjust display backlight based on ambient light

    • Optimize UI elements for improved readability


  • Platform Introduction and Scenarios

  • Components and Architecture

  • Location-awareness demos

  • Light-aware UI demos

  • Sensor Development Kit Overview

Location aware weather gadget


Location-Aware Weather Gadget

Limitations of sensors today
Limitations Of Sensors Today

  • Location devices are exposed as virtual COM ports

    • Exclusive application access

    • Not secure

    • Proprietary data formats (NMEA, others)

  • GPS doesn’t work indoors

    • Hard to support multiple technologies at once

  • Sensors are integrated as vertical solutions

    • Applications need to know sensorhardware specifics

    • Limited adoption and scope

Windows sensor and location platform
Windows Sensor And Location Platform

  • Provides unified driver model for all types of sensor devices

    • Physical sensors (e.g., GPS devices, Light Sensors)

    • Logical sensor (e.g., Wi-Fi triangulation resolver)

  • Provides standard APIs for accessing sensors

    • Sensor API: C++/COM

      • Raw access to any sensor

    • Location API: C++/COM, IDispatch (scriptable)

      • Abstracted API for location data

  • Puts user in control of information disclosure

Sensor architecture
Sensor Architecture



Sensor API


Location and Other Sensors Control Panel


Sensor Class Extension

UMDF Sensor Driver



Location architecture
Location Architecture

Gadget or Script



Location API

Location IDispatch Interface

Sensor API


Location and Other Sensors Control Panel


Sensor Class Extension

Sensor Class Extension

UMDF Sensor Driver

UMDF Sensor Driver



Logical Location Sensor


Location platform benefits
Location Platform Benefits

  • Single API call to answer “Where am I?”

    • Independent of provider used todetermine location

    • Synchronous and Asynchronous models

    • Script/automation compatible

  • Automatic transition between providers

    • Most accurate providers have priority

  • Concurrent access for multiple applications

  • Default Location

    • Provided by user as fallback when no other sources are available

Location com api
Location COM API

  • interfaceILocation : IUnknown

  • {

    • HRESULT RegisterForReport(

      • ILocationEvents* pEvents,

      • REFIID reportType,

      • ULONG dwRequestedReportInterval);

  • HRESULT GetReport(

    • REFIID reportType,

    • ILocationReport** ppLocationReport);

  • // other functions

  • };

  • interfaceILocationEvents : IUnknown

  • {

    • HRESULT OnLocationChanged(

      • REFIID reportType,

      • ILocationReport* pNewReport);

  • HRESULT OnStatusChanged(

    • REFIID reportType,


  • };

  • Types of location data
    Types Of Location Data

    • Geographic Data (ILatLongReport)

      • Latitude, longitude, altitude, associated error required

      • Most common format

      • Best format for precise location

      • Can reverse geo-code later

    • Civic Address (ICivicAddressReport)

      • Zip, Country required

      • Most human readable

      • Best for ‘rough’ location estimates,street directions

    Location reports
    Location Reports

    • interfaceILatLongReport : ILocationReport

    • {

      • HRESULT GetLatitude(DOUBLE* latitude);

      • HRESULT GetLongitude(DOUBLE* longitude);

      • HRESULT GetAltitude(DOUBLE* altitude);

      • HRESULT GetAltitudeError(DOUBLE* altitudeError);

      • HRESULT GetErrorRadius(DOUBLE* errorRadius);

    • };

    • interfaceICivicAddressReport : ILocationReport

    • {

      • HRESULT GetAddressLine1(BSTR* pbstrAddress1);

      • HRESULT GetAddressLine2(BSTR* pbstrAddress2);

      • HRESULT GetCity(BSTR* pbstrCity);

      • HRESULT GetStateProvince(BSTR* pbstrState);

      • HRESULT GetPostalCode(BSTR* pbstrPostalCode);

      • HRESULT GetCountryRegion(BSTR* pbstrCountry);

    • };

    Scripting the location api


    Scripting The Location API

    Privacy and access control
    Privacy And Access Control

    • Location data is considered PII

      • User consent is required to share data

    • All sensors are disabled by default

    • Admin rights required to enable a sensor

    • Sensors can be configured on a per-user basis

    • “Enable Dialog” invoked by applications

    Location summary
    Location Summary

    • Single, convenient API for accessing current location

    • C++/COM

    • IDispatch (script, .NET interop)

    • Lat/Long and Address formats

    Enables applications to be device-agnostic

    User consent required toaccess data

    • Opt-in via ‘Enable Dialog’ orControl Panel

    What is a sensor
    What Is A Sensor?

    • Enumerated via category and type

      • Category represents what is being sensed

      • Type represents how it is sensed

    • Properties

      • Read-only or read-write

    • Data

      • Property keys specify data field, units, and type for associated data

    • Events

      • Data-driven

    • State

    Ambient light sensors
    Ambient Light Sensors

    • Measure light intensity (i.e., illuminance) in LUX (lumens per square meter)

    • Windows 7 includes class driver support for ACPI light sensors

      • Working with OEMs to integrate light sensors into notebook designs

    • Adaptive brightness feature supported by Windows 7

      • OS automatically adjusts display backlight

    • Light-aware applications can use these sensors to optimize UI content for various lighting conditions

    Light aware ui


    Light-aware UI

    Light aware applications
    Light-Aware Applications

    Photos taken in direct sunlight

    UI with light-awareness,

    100% screen brightness

    UI without light-awareness,

    40% screen brightness

    Enumerating light sensors
    Enumerating Light Sensors

    • #include <sensors.h>

    • HRESULT hr;

    • CComPtr<ISensorManager> pSensorManager;

    • pSensorManager.CoCreateInstance(CLSID_SensorManager);

    • CComPtr<ISensorCollection> pALSCollection;

    • CComPtr<ISensor> pALSSensor;

    • // Get all the ALS sensors on the system

    • pSensorManager->GetSensorsByType(SENSOR_TYPE_AMBIENT_LIGHT, &pALSCollection);

    • hr = pSensorManager->RequestPermissions(

    • 0, // Owner window

    • pALSCollection, // Collection of sensors requiring permissions

    • TRUE); // Modal flag

    • if(SUCCEEDED(hr))

    • {

    • pALSCollection->GetAt(0, &pALSSensor);

    • }

    Getting current light level
    Getting Current Light Level

    • STDMETHODIMP CALSEventSink::OnDataUpdated(

    • ISensor* pSensor, ISensorDataReport* pNewData)

    • {

      • PROPVARIANT lightLevel;

      • PropVariantInit(&lightLevel);

      • // Get the sensor reading from the ISensorDataReport object

      • pNewData->GetSensorValue(SENSOR_DATA_TYPE_LIGHT_LEVEL_LUX, &lightLevel);

      • // Extract the float value from the PROPVARIANT object

      • float luxValue = V_FLOAT(lightLevel);

      • // Normalize the light sensor data

      • double lightNormalized = ::pow(luxValue, 0.4) / 100.0;

      • // Handle UI changes based on the normalized LUX data

      • // which ranges from 0.0 - 1.0 for a lux range of

      • // 0 lux to 100,000 lux, this method represents such a

      • // handler that would be implemented in your application UpdateUI(lightNormalized);

      • PropVariantClear(&lightLevel);

      • return S_OK;

    • }

    How to build light aware ui
    How To Build Light-Aware UI

    • Scale

      • Change font size/zoom level

      • ‘Weight’ of lines

    • Contrast

    • Color

      • Saturation

      • Complementary vs Adjacent

    • Smooth transitions between changes are extremely important for overall user experience

      • Fades or animations

      • Data smoothing/hysteresis

    Sensor api summary
    Sensor API Summary

    • Rich API for accessing raw sensor data

    • C++/COM

    • Synchronous and asynchronousdata access

    • Discovery via category or type

    Direct access to individual sensors

    Extensible architecture

    • Data and properties mappedto PROPERTYKEY andPROPVARIANT pairs

    Sensor development kit
    Sensor Development Kit

    • Based on Freescale JM Badge Board (HID)

    • Sensors

      • Ambient light sensor

      • 3D Accelerometer

      • Dual touch strip sensors

    • Developer tools

      • Sample firmware code

      • Sample driver code

      • Diagnostic and sample applications

        • Light-aware MSDN Reader

        • Marble game

    Limited quantities

    available in the Windows 7 booth!

    Getting started
    Getting Started

    • Samples

      • C++/COM samples in Windows SDK

      • JScript location sample in Windows SDK

      • WPF/.NET samples in Sensor Development Kit CD

    • Tools

      • Light Simulator (SDK)

    • Hardware

      • Get a Sensor Development Kit at PDC!

      • Will be available online in the future(timeline TBD)

    Call to action
    Call To Action

    • Utilize the Windows Sensor and Location platform to build location-aware applications, gadgets and services

    • Implement light-aware UI in your applications to support betterreadability and UX under various environmental conditions

    • Build environmentally-aware applications using additional sensors with the sensor and location platform

    Additional content at pdc
    Additional Content At PDC

    • Booth

      • Windows 7

    • Hands On Lab

      • PCHOL13: Writing a Location-Aware Gadget

    • Whitepaper

      • Introducing the Windows Sensor and Location Platform

      • Implementing Light-Aware UI Using the Windows Sensor and Location Platform


    • Sensor and Location WHDC

    • Windows SDK

      • Virtual Earth Map gadget (winui\Sidebar\LocateMe.gadget)

      • Light Simulator and sample

    • For business inquiries, please contact:

      • Sensor Platform:

      • Location Platform:

    Evals recordings
    Evals & Recordings

    Please fill out your evaluation for this session at:

    This session will be available as a recording at:

    Please use the microphones provided


    Please use the microphones provided

    © 2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Microsoft, Windows, Windows Vista and other product names are or may be registered trademarks and/or trademarks in the U.S. and/or other countries.

    The information herein is for informational purposes only and represents the current view of Microsoft Corporation as of the date of this presentation. Because Microsoft must respond to changing market conditions, it should not be interpreted to be a commitment on the part of Microsoft, and Microsoft cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information provided after the date of this presentation. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR STATUTORY, AS TO THE INFORMATION IN THIS PRESENTATION.