Three ground-breaking projects selected as winners in element14’s Smarter Life Challenge

Finalists from around the world leveraged Cypress’ PSoC Pioneer Kit to develop smart technology and enhance lives

element14 has chosen three winners out of 18 finalists who built forward-thinking technology projects as part of the Smarter Life Competition. The winners and finalists were identified from hundreds of proposed projects from across the globe in one of element14’s most forward-thinking challenges ever.

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 behavior 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 initiative aimed to create renewed excitement and interest in futuristic technology using the PSoC® 4 Pioneer Kit. Design engineers and hobbyists alike were encouraged to develop projects that had the potential to enhance the home, automobile or office environments.

"When we launched this challenge last autumn, we challenged participants to make something that was creative, practical and smart," said John Weil, senior director of PSoC marketing and applications at Cypress. "The element14 Community responded with some amazing applications and accomplished a great deal in a very short time, and our decision to pick the winners was not easy. The community showcased how a commercially successful product like PSoC can also be a very hobbyist-friendly platform due its fully programmable mixed-signal capabilities in a one-chip solution. We congratulate everyone who took part and thank them for all their outstanding efforts."

Finalists’ progress was documented through blog posts, videos and designs on the element14 Community, an award-winning resource where design engineers share project concepts with more than 200,000 members.

The Cypress PSoC® 4 Pioneer Kit can be purchased from Farnell.com in Europe.

About Farnell element14
Farnell element14 is a high-service distributor of technology products and solutions for electronic system design, maintenance and repair. Bringing together the latest products, services, and development software, all connected to an innovative online engineering community where purchasers and engineers can access peers and experts, a wide range of independent technical information and helpful tools. Whether researching a new technology, designing an electronic product, or looking for parts to repair an existing system, Farnell is the trusted source to find the answers and parts you need to keep your project on the fast track, right from the start.

Farnell element14 is the operating business of Premier Farnell plc (LSE:pfl) in Europe.

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February 2014

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