Java in cars, set-top boxes and handheld health-monitoring devices featured in the opening keynote by Sun president and chief operating officer Jonathan Schwartz at the company's JavaOne conference.
Making money was the theme: in a swipe at Wall Street analysts who do not 'understand' Java, Schwartz talked his 15,000 audience in San Francisco through how the industry makes money from Java, starting with mobile phone handsets.
"There are 350 million Java mobile handsets. Three hundred and fifty million is an interesting number; it's a much more interesting number than 350 markets of one million because it provides the appeal of ubiquity and compatability."
Schwartz pointed out that the ringtone market was worth $3.5bn in 2003 and that the market for Java games yielded another $3bn.
He said such ubiquity attracted developers, who add creativity.
"Then the industry venture capitalists and businesses get interested because they think they can make money from this creativity. Be it ringtones, mobile controllers or navigation systems, there's money to be made," he said.
The Java-powered network economy "is an economy that is accelerating" and subscription-based revenues will be a major driver, Schwartz.
Showing off a mobile Java technology health-monitoring device and Java on TV set-top boxes, Schwartz also demonstrated a new Java-based in-car system that BMW will install in its 1, 3 and 5-series cars, covering entertainment, route-planning and servicing information.
He said one car-maker told him that, if it could sell in-car services for $220 per month, it could provide the car free.
"If you're a consumer applications developer and not Java you're going to miss the market. This is why ubiquity means opportunity," he said.
Sun has promised to donate several pieces of software, including 3D technology, to open source as part of a policy of increasing total opportunity.
But the company has no plans to completely hand over Java to open source, said Schwartz, and will choose different open source licensing models for different situations.
"Compatibility is the priority and Java is about freeing people. But no one hammer is suitable for all nails," he said.
Robot can assemble Ikea furniture in under 10 minutes - several hours less than the average human
Researchers claim to be one step closer to developing flexible screen televisions, tablets and phones
Thanks to the creation of an ultrafast, nanoscale transistor
The 'first demonstration' of a scalable method for manufacturing graphene
Lifted off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket today following postponement on Monday