Distributor names winners in its “Smarter Life Challenge”

February 10, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
In the autumn of 2013 distributor Farnell element 14 invited engineers to submit entries to a competition in which they would develop projects that, “had the potential to enhance the home, automobile or office environments”, using the Cypress PSoC Pioneer Kit. element14 first selected 18 finalists and has now named the winners;

Douglas Wong (U.S.) and his smart thermostat won the first-place prize, an all-expenses-paid trip to Germany and Embedded World 2014, Feb. 25-27, 2014. Dubbed “The Henrietta Project,” Wong’s project enhanced the functionality of the traditional thermostat to include speech recognition, Bluetooth connectivity, an Android app and a GPS-based clock that never needs to be set, among other features. At Embedded World, the largest trade conference of its kind, Wong will have the opportunity to showcase his design in Cypress’ and element14’s spaces while networking with conference attendees.

Anthony Kahl (Australia) and his “Smart Bicycle Light” took second place with a prize of a $1,500 voucher on element14 retail sites. The light turns on in darkness and when movement is detected, flashes in a number of different modes and turns off after a period of no movement, when removed from the bike and/or when light is detected. It’s also chargeable via USB and audibly alerts the user when the battery is low.

Javier Hernandez (Puerto Rico) and his GeoCar took home the “Peoples’ Choice” award and a $1,500 voucher on element14 retail sites. This project used technology including a GPS receiver, Bluetooth connectivity, a proximity sensor and an accelerometer to gather data on car use. Parents, for example, could confirm via smartphone the whereabouts of their children when borrowing the car. In the instance of an accident, speed and directional data could be extracted to determine the behaviour of the driver.

“We had finalists in locations that spanned the globe, and we were extremely eager and excited to find out what each of them were able to build using the PSoC 4 Pioneer Kit,” said Global Head of Community Dianne Kibbey. “We believe some of these devices are innovative enough to be someday produced and used by consumers around the world.”

The outcome of the competition and details of the projects are documented here.

element14; www.premierfarnell.com