Ok, so I'm a little ahead of myself: if you aren't yet familiar with the Electric Imp, it's time to check it out. The imp is a tiny, powerful, wifi-connected processor that looks like an SD card. It connects easily to any wireless network, phones home to the Electric Imp service, and lets you connect all sorts of things to the internet and each other. You program it in your web browser using the electric imp planner. Check out the overview at http://electricimp.com/.
Right now I have my copy of this demo hooked up to a fun little board I use to control some in-ceiling RGB lighting. We've got more instructables coming along soon for that - for now you can check out the video we posted here. Check out the pictures - the kicker is that this method of controlling that light:
- is totally wireless and was installed in about the time it took to get the light in the ceiling in the first place
- works from anywhere in the world
- can be connected, disconnected, or changed (pre-program light shows or interpret inputs differently) from anywhere in the world, without tools, just by opening my browser.
When you're ready, check out the next page and see the (short) list of things you need to connect a knob to the internet!