Hackathon Ideas? Internet of Things World (San Francisco May 12-13)

(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #1

Continuing the discussion from SmartThings & IoT World Workshop & Hackathon (May 11-13):

I haven’t found any networking connections to brainstorm a bit before the Internet of Things World Hackathon, but maybe the Community would like to contribute.

I think the key to “winning” is the criteria in the last paragraph:

Hackathon Challenges

Challenge A) Best Consumer IoT Project:
Application sectors for the consumer include Home, Fitness & Health, the Connected / Self Driving Car, and the use of Beacons. Some example projects: turning on the coffee maker when you run the shower in the morning, turning on your car’s engine when you open the garage door, or guiding around a shopping mall.

Challenge B) Best Industrial IoT Project:
Covering innovations for the Industrial Internet, application sectors for this challenge include Smart Cities, Intelligent Agriculture, Smart Energy & Utilities, Logistics, Environment & Resource Management, and Healthcare. Some example projects: trash cans that know when they need to be emptied, street lights that turn off when no-one is around, plants that know when they need watering, or industrial machines that let you know when their bearings might be wearing out.

We believe interoperability will be crucial to the future success of IoT, so projects which use a variety of different technologies will be at a distinct advantage.
Click here for more information on the various technologies that will be Available for Contestants!

That paragraph makes a ton of sense to me; since, duh, the main purpose of the hackathon is for the sponsors to maximize their exposure; and, less cynically, a fundamental principle of the “Internet of Things” is to interconnect heterogeneous technologies.

Yet I can think of dozens of highly functional devices / systems that use a minimal set of components. An Arduino (with a few sensors and actuators) + SmartShield + SmartThings Cloud is in my wheelhouse and, as we know, can do an awful lot.

The other featured vendors are mostly alternative development prototyping boards (Freescale, Intel, Silicon Labs, Tessel, Gemalto, …) and/or communication modules (Broadcom bluetooth); and clouds as platforms for software development that integrates with the above.

Isn’t there a lot of redundancy? Hmmm… I suppose the most obvious choice is to swap out the Arduino for one of the sponsors’ boards, and … next … do some cloud-cloud between that vendor’s cloud and SmartThings?

Tossing it out to you guys for suggestions! :wink:


When there are a lot of sponsors, also think about what makes a good picture. And can be described in 25 words or less.

Just sayin’…

(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #3

Yup… I kinda get the impression that complexity isn’t the key to winning; it’s counter productive in many ways. The “idea” has to be catchy, of course, but if the “25 word description” can contain the names at least 4 sponsors, that’s gonna earn a lot of points in itself, even if that means a lot of redundant components.

(April Wong) #4

presentation is probably the number one key here…in addition to your build. They understand that you only have X Hours of hacking. So when you’re showcasing your project (whether it’s a lone project, or a team effort), think of how to illustrate your concept in less than 3 minutes. …UI/UX helps too, to make it look polished, if it’s an app.

And hone in on the application/presentation portion of it… so if you’re thinking of creating “uber for dogs” (as a bizarre example), focus in just a certain neighborhood, instead of the world… thus “here, we pull up all the dog groomers in the financial district.” “now I drop my pick-up pin, and write my 160 comment section, attach an image, and a driver is now set to come and pick up my dog to the groomers.” Makes it a whole lot more manageable to create and easier to scale, if you ever did want to flesh out the project.
If you can illustrate that you’ve thought outside of the basic use case, you can say, “furthermore, to expand this app, I can attach an image to the comments section, or in the future, incorporate dog walkers to be part of this app vs just drivers for dogs.” - all part of the pitch, and not actual integration.

Just a tip or two. :smiley: Good luck on your first hackathon!

As for ideas… PLEASE make this, and integrate IoT on it. I’d totally use it. Hahahah.

(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #5

Thanks for the super helpful answer, April! That’s inspiring advice.

My dogs, being Beagles, don’t need groomers… Though they do have a pretty good time at the local tub & scrub place from time to time… That shop actually has a weekly “Yappy Hour” social evening, with disco music and lights! :bathtub: :dog: :dizzy:

(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #6

How did it go? I’m curious for details on these things. Never been to one.