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Digi Employee Hackathon: XBee Wi-Fi Cloud Kit

Last week, we had another Digi Employee Hackathon and put the new XBee Wi-Fi Cloud Kit to the test. This is one of the many, not to mention most fun, ways we ensure an outstanding user experience for our customers. With the kits, the teams were able to build projects that connected to the cloud in a matter of minutes. One team member was even surprised at how true the tagline #IoTASAP was. He said, “I got from the box to the cloud in under 20 minutes.” Using the kit’s dashboard, widgets we’re made to visually represent the data being collected by Device Cloud.

Here are some of the highlights:

Team Barbara

Summertime thunderstorms can bring heavy rain and if the sump pump goes out, you need to know immediately! Team Barabara aimed to solve this problem.

Their project consisted of using a water sensor  to measure the water level in the sump pump basket. When the water hits a level that indicates there may be flooding, a widget, located on the Cloud Kit dashboard, turns to “Flooded!” The app also tracks the on/off history of the sump pump so you can make sure the pump is functioning properly.

Another issue the team looked to solve was frozen pipes during the winter months. For this, they installed a temperature sensor, which reads out the basement’s temperature. If the sensor is reading a value that could lead to frozen pipes, an email or SMS is sent to the homeowner. This alarm and notification system is set up using Device Cloud’s alarms feature.

R-Squared

If the power goes out or the door is left open, and you don’t know the current state of your refrigerator, you run the risk of spoiled food. R-Squared saw this problem as an opportunity for their hackathon project.  This application would be extremely valuable for both restaurants and home owners. The team monitored three parameters and designed a widget for each. From the dashboard, you can see whether the door is open or closed, whether the power is on or off, as well as the current temperature in the fridge. If either of these parameters reaches a condition that could lead to spoiled food, a user is notified via an alarm within the dashboard.

Bradometer

What do you get when you combine a hacked a scale and motivational messages? The Bradometer of course.

The team hacked a digital scale that sends values to Device Cloud. A widget, designed to look like a scale, displays the scale’s value within the dashboard. Depending on what the scale is reading, the Bradometer reveals motivating messages with an accompanying photo of the one and only Brad Cole.

WhoVille

The project, “Who Left the Lights On?” was made to reduce energy use by tracking light usage and make the lives of parents a little easier. The main use case is to give homeowners a way  to determine who is needlessly leaving lights on in the home. But, it could also be used by parents who want to make sure their children are in bed with the lights off by bedtime. Let’s say the application determines the child’s lights are on past their bedtime, it could automatically send a friendly reminder to the parents, child, or both, to turn the lights out and get to sleep!

The team used two sensors to build this project. First, a light sensor, which come comes with the kit, to measure whether the lights in the room are on. And to detect whether the room is occupied by someone, an infrared sensor was installed to detect motion. Data from each sensor is collected and stored using Device Cloud’s Data Streams feature.

Future plans for the project are to turn the app into a game between the family members and see who can save the most energy. You can see a screenshot of the web page that was setup to track light usage in the thumbnail above.

Wrap Up

The WhoVille team came away with the win, but all projects were worthy of praise. It’s always fun to see the creativity of the company come to life during our hackathons. We hope these projects serve as a source of inspiration as you start building your own projects with the XBee Wi-Fi Cloud Kit.

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