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Open IoT Challenge FAQ

The feedback following the announcement of the Open IoT challenge has been fantastic! The good news is that we’ve already improved the prize pool, and we are also happy to announce that the best applications will be eligible to get $150 worth of hardware parts required to build the final project. Thanks to our sponsor Eurotech for making this possible!

Several people have contacted me with questions so here is a little FAQ to clarify some of the conditions to participate.

Can I use a commercial product as part of my project?

Yes, of course! With this challenge we want to help demonstrate that there are really cool commercial IoT products out there that can really benefit from the ecosystem of open-source libraries and frameworks. If you know of a great commercial MQTT broker and want to use it to send your sensor data, that’s fine! If you want to hack a Nest thermostat to hook it to an open-source data analytics frameworks, that’s fine too!

Are there any publicly available IoT data sources that I could use?

There are many data sources that you may want to try and use as part of your project. The Google keyword here would of course be “open data“. Many cities are starting to make available the current position of their buses, the pollution levels, etc. You can for example have a look at the air quality of the city of London thanks to the London Air API. There are also many “offline” data sources (OpenStreetMap, geotagged Flickr pictures, etc.) that you may want to feed in your system to provide better data visualization, or to correlate environmental data with data coming from your sensors.

When is the deadline to participate?

You have until January, 17th to apply by filling the dedicated online form. If you are short-listed, your final project will have to be completed by February 27, 2015.

If you have more questions, please feel free to comment on this blog post or drop me an email using the contact form.

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Top 10 IoT Hardware Platforms in 2014

This year, a lot of IoT hardware platforms have been released, and all the semiconductor companies have finally started getting really serious about providing affordable development boards showcasing their portfolio of processors and sensors.
Here are the devices that particularly caught my attention, with some links to additional educational material.

  •  FRDM-K64F

    #1 – FRDM-K64F

    The FRDM-K64F is a development board for the Kinetis K64. Freescale had the great idea to not only make the platform compatible with the ARM mbed platform, but also to provide a board that is compatible with Arduino shields.
    Since a few months, you can also install a Java ME embedded firmware on the FRDM-K64F, turning it into what is probably the cheapest Java development board on the market.
Note: you can click on the pictures to learn more!




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Announcing the Open IoT challenge

2014 is almost over, and one of the first big events for Eclipse IoT next year will be EclipseCon 2015, March 9-12 in Burlingame, California.
If you haven’t seen the EclipseCon program already, I highly encourage you to check out all the great sessions that we have selected as part of the IoT Theme Day, and of course the rest of the program which has just been announced. This year, EclipseCon is colocated with FOSS4G North America, the largest global gathering focused on open source geospatial software.

In order to encourage everyone to start making Internet of Things a reality, we are launching a programming contest that fosters the creation of IoT projects based on top of open-source technologies, and that we hope will keep everyone busy during the few months separating us from EclipseCon. You can get familiar with the conditions to participate at http://iot.eclipse.org/open-iot-challenge.

Here are a few ideas of projects or technologies that I would really like to see used by the participants:

  • Geolocation technologies like the ones available as part of the LocationTech initiative. How about, for example, using GeoMesa to store spatio-temporal data points corresponding to the air quality measured by environmental sensors?
  • A project combining low-cost/low-power IoT microcontrollers powered by an embedded OS like Contiki or RIOT, and a more powerful IoT gateway (running for example Kura) in charge of the heavy lifting of the sensor data before it’s sent to the cloud.
  • IoT is merely a buzzword (sorry, I hope you already knew! :smile:) for “connecting more devices to the internet”. Those devices’ core value is their data, and there are many opportunities for your projects to leverage time-series databases or stream processing technologies to actually make sense out of the amount of data generated by the IoT.

To enter the challenge, you simply have to apply via this online form before January 10, 2015 and tell us what you plan to build. Don’t wait!

Eclipse, open-source for the Internet of Things, and other random stuff