Explain Detergent Orderer DApp proof of concept

sqzrsqzr Posts: 1
edited November 2016 in Education
I'm trying to get my head around Ethereum as a means to develop applications (DApps?). My first exposure to it was as a currency so the concept of it having applications confuses me.

From this image it explains that IBM made a washing machine that could detect low detergent and order new detergent. https://blog.ethereum.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Ethereum-image-infographic-beginners-guide.png

Can you ELI5 how this specific Ethereum application functions and operates?
  • I assume the application would be broken down into many contracts. Can you give an example of a contract the above app would use? Obviously add/substraction contracts but what higher abstraction ones?
  • Would the DApp (hundreds of contracts) compile to machine code?
  • A contract must execute on a computer - what operating system and environment does the contract execute under? For eg; it could be any linux node in the 'blockchain?'/network running through a 'Mist interpretter'?
  • If the machine is ordering new detergent it's most likely doing over the web, so it's using HTTP, sockets, etc. Is one node handling this socket or is it broken into contracts and many nodes are executing parts of the process to 'open the socket', 'send the HTTP request', 'handle the response', etc.?
  • Is it possible to create an app like this in Ethereum at this stage or is it too 'primitive' right now?
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