Internet of Things: Set Your Creativity Free
By Ed Schmit, Executive Director AT&T Developer Program
It’s an interesting time for developers; we’re at a point where we have access to the tools needed to create the things we imagine. We are no longer to long development time frames unless you want to be. All you have to do to see how an idea can be developed into a prototype in just two short days is attend a hackathon. This is especially relevant when considering the Internet of Things (IoT), which is why it’s one of the themes at the 2015 AT&T Developer Summit in Las Vegas, January 3rd through 5th.
While there is a lot of activity surrounding the connected home, IoT can really enhance all aspects of life. What we have seen repeatedly is that disruption in business creates opportunity. Here are just a few innovative products that have been developed that take advantage of IoT:
- iCPooch Electronic Dog Treat Dispenser: For those times when you can’t be there to give your dog a treat, you can send a command to automatically dispense one. That’s the idea behind iCPooch, an Internet-enabled device developed by a 9th grader. When you’re away from home, just use a smartphone, tablet, or PC to send the “drop treat” command to the Raspberry Pi-powered iCPooch, and well, a motor will release the treat. There is a space on the front of the dispenser to add a tablet so you could also have a video chat with your pet via the mobile app.
- Egg Minder: Never wonder if you’re out of eggs again. This Wi-Fi enabled electronic egg crate sends an alert to your phone when you’re running low on eggs. You can use the accompanying mobile app to set parameters for receiving low egg alerts.
- Stick N Find: Have a hard time finding your keys in the morning? The Stick N Find can help. Essentially, it’s a Bluetooth tag that you can stick to a device or even pet ID tag. When you can’t find the item that you stuck the sticker on, you can use the app to locate it. There are other features as well, such as an LED light in case you’re looking for an item in the dark, a paging option, and a virtual leash for when it’s out of range. You can also use the app to locate the Stick N Find item.
- Darma Smart Cushion: Wish you had an ergonomics specialist at your desk monitoring how you sit? With Darma you don’t need one. It’s actually a smart cushion that you sit on. Darma will monitor your posture, heart rate, respiratory rate, and other vitals. It will learn your sitting behaviors and provide feedback via a mobile app to teach you how to sit properly. It also will send alerts reminding you to move around during the day.
While all the products mentioned above take advantage of IoT, the really interesting thing about them is that none of them came from a large company. They got their start on crowd-funding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. That says a lot about how products are created today.
It’s easier than ever to translate ideas into a viable business. There are so many tools and technologies available such as 3D printers, online design software, Arduino boards, M2M module, BLE, and RFID that makes development faster than ever. We no longer need to wait months to see a prototype; one can be created in just a few days. Within a week you could have a campaign on a crowd-funding site. If your idea is compelling, you could start a business around it in a couple of months. It is an exciting time to be a developer.
Best of all, you and your friends can manufacture your ideas into prototypes in a weekend at a hackathon. These events are the breeding ground for new ideas. Imagine what you could create at the AT&T Developer Summit hackathon where there are tools, mentors, and sponsors. It’s also an opportunity to use M2X to control hardware over the Internet and learn more about AT&T’s M2X service. Some of our past sponsors have included companies such as Arduino, ARM, Nordic, SparkFun and Pebble. You may even win one of the cash prizes at the hackathon.
Got a great idea that you want to see come to fruition? Sign up today for the AT&T Developer Summit Hackathon that will take place at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, January 3-4, 2015.