element14 has chosen 15 competitors out of hundreds of entries from around the world who will build forward-thinking technology projects as part of the Smarter Life Competition.
The initiative aims to create renewed excitement and interest in futuristic technology and home automation using the Cypress PSoC 4 Pioneer Kit. Design engineers and hobbyists alike are encouraged to develop projects that not only enhance the home environment, but also the automobile or office as well.
“The field of home automation has not significantly progressed in the last 60-plus years,” said Global Head of Community Dianne Kibbey. “For example, a toaster still requires manual programming and can still burn your bread. Washing machines aren’t automated and won’t detect things like color bleeds or fabric type. We have finalists in locations that span the globe, and we’re excited to see how they use single-chip systems to improve their – and potentially others’ – lives.”
John Weil, senior director of PSoC marketing and applications at Cypress, added, “All of the finalists’ submissions were intriguing, and we’re looking forward to seeing how they incorporate the unique attributes of the PSoC 4 into their projects.”
From now through to January 2014, participants will develop their suggested creations and document their progress through blog posts, videos and designs, which will be shared on the element14 Community. In addition to the PSoC 4 Pioneer Kit, each finalist receives a $500 budget to purchase additional components to help reach their goals.
The competition has potentially significant implications for products of the future. The connected home segment of the home automation market, for example, is expected to grow from $300 million in 2013 to $1.5 billion in 2017, demonstrating huge potential for innovation and development.*
The grand prize winner will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Embedded World, the largest trade conference of its kind, held in Germany in February 2014. There, they will have the opportunity to showcase their designs in Cypress’ and element14’s spaces while networking with conference attendees. Other prizes include vouchers for up to $1,500, redeemable at element14’s online retail sites. Winners will be announced January 24, 2014.
The finalists, as well as their location and design proposals, are:
• Alex Behnaz (U.S.) – sensor to detect circadian rhythms and sleep patterns
• Abhijit Bose (India) – home security system
• Monte Chan (Australia) – advanced holiday light display
• Javier Hernandez (Puerto Rico) – multi-functional car sensor device
• Cosmin Iorga (U.S.) – wearable brain wave-driven controller for home appliances
• Anthony Kahl (Australia) – smart bicycle light
• Linas Karpavicius (Lithuania) – touch-screen reflow oven for SMD soldering
• Jianyi Liu (U.S.) – affordable mechanized camera gimbal
• Jim Lynch (U.S.) – touch-sensitive faucet and hot water controllers; in-home light/heat sensors
• Mala Mitra (India) – smart oven control
• Peter Shabino (U.S.) – smart plant caretaker
• Paul Sisneros (U.S.) – auto barista
• Mani Thundiyil (India) – smart wheelchair
• Yuri Tikhonov (Russia) – tricopter with smart diagnostic capabilities
• Steve Turner (U.S.) – smart thermostat


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