Supporting Sensors in Windows 7

Windows 7 includes an amazing set of new features and I describe how to develop applications to use them in my book Professional Windows 7 Development Guide. One of the most amazing new features is the ability to work with sensors of all kinds within your application. In fact, I found this particular technology so compelling that I used an entire chapter to discuss it. Chapter 18 tells you about various sensor types and how to use them in your application, including:


  • Biometric (such as fingerprint and retina readers)
  • Electrical (devices that output some sort of electrical current that don’t fit in another category)
  • Environmental (devices that measure environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity)
  • Light (a device used to measure either the amount of light or a specific kind of light)
  • Location (usually refers to GPS devices, but Windows 7 supports other types)
  • Mechanical (defines a mechanical measurement, such as how far a door is open)
  • Motion (detects any sort of motion)
  • Orientation (measures angular rotation around the center of a mass in one of three axis: yaw, pitch, and roll)
  • Scanner (any device that contains a CCD and is used to capture an image, such as a camera or scanner)

Sensors are created from either hardware (with a driver) or software. The software sensors include a special software sensor, Geosense for Windows. The builder of this software sensor, Rafael Rivera, was kind enough to spend several hours with me online explaining precisely how sensors work in general and this sensor in particular. Geosense for Windows is a great way to discover Windows 7 sensors because you don’t need to buy anything special to experiment with it.

Rafael was also nice enough to provide a review of my book recently. You can find it on his Within Windows blog. If you have an interest in sensors or simply want to find out more about my book, please be sure to read Rafael’s review. Of course, I’m always available to answer your book-related questions at


Author: John

John Mueller is a freelance author and technical editor. He has writing in his blood, having produced 99 books and over 600 articles to date. The topics range from networking to artificial intelligence and from database management to heads-down programming. Some of his current books include a Web security book, discussions of how to manage big data using data science, a Windows command -line reference, and a book that shows how to build your own custom PC. His technical editing skills have helped over more than 67 authors refine the content of their manuscripts. John has provided technical editing services to both Data Based Advisor and Coast Compute magazines. He has also contributed articles to magazines such as Software Quality Connection, DevSource, InformIT, SQL Server Professional, Visual C++ Developer, Hard Core Visual Basic, asp.netPRO, Software Test and Performance, and Visual Basic Developer. Be sure to read John’s blog at When John isn’t working at the computer, you can find him outside in the garden, cutting wood, or generally enjoying nature. John also likes making wine and knitting. When not occupied with anything else, he makes glycerin soap and candles, which comes in handy for gift baskets. You can reach John on the Internet at John is also setting up a website at Feel free to take a look and make suggestions on how he can improve it.