While the utility of adding a network connection to a toaster might reasonably be called into question there could be significant advantages from having many devices in your home connected together - burglar alarms that can use your house lighting system, home entertainment systems that can co-ordinate with your curtains or perhaps something as simple as being able to query the electricity, water or gas consumption of your home and the devices in it are all interesting and compelling applications of this kind of technology.
This tutorial will answer the question of what is a Networked Appliance and will go on to give use cases and practical examples of where we might typically expect to find them. It will then go on to discuss the constraints and capabilities of the early devices that we see in the market today, highlighting the limitations of the technology that is available. It will then discuss the work that is progressing to address some of these limitations in many fora including the OSGi, IETF and other places, with specific examples of how technologies such as SIP for Appliances can be applied to the problems we foresee before concluding with a vision of a possible future with multiple, integrated, devices in a hetrogeneous network environment communicating and interworking seamlessly with the other devices around them.
Stan was one of the founders of the Networked Appliance movement and has been heavily involved in the development of the field. He is currently the co-editor of the IEEE Communications Magazine special series on Home Networking and actively participates in a number of initiatives in the field.