Welcome to week 32 of the 2016 Design Challenge series here at Element14! With just a few weeks left in the Pi IoT Smarter Spaces Design Challenge the challengers have shifted into high gear in an effort to complete their projects on time. This challenge is one of the most active that we have had in awhile, with more than ten project updates being being posted per week for the last few weeks. That means that this week we have a lot of updates to cover, so let's jump right in and get started. 


Pi IoT Smarter Spaces




Before I get into this week's updates, let's take a moment and talk about what this new challenge is all about. The Pi IoT Smarter Spaces Design Challenge is the second official design challenge of 2016, and challenges its contestants, and anyone else who wishes to participate to Create a command center to control all the IoT devices in your favorite space - your entire home, a workspace, a media room or even an outdoor space. More information can be found at the challenge's official Terms and Conditions page.


Fifteen projects were chosen to participate, with their creators receiving an official challenger kit that contains the sponsored hardware that must be used to create their projects. The challenge is not limited to these thirteen people though, and anyone can enter their project into the challenge, but you will need to use a Raspberry Pi 3Raspberry Pi 3 in your design along with some of the other sponsored items that are included in the official challenger kit. More information can be found on the kit in this post outlining all of the hardware the challengers receive.



The challengers are competing to win an awesome assortment of prizes, including a CEL - Robox 3D Printer CEL - Robox 3D Printer, and an assortment of tools from Duratool. More information on the prizes can be found here.



This Week's Updates


In the past seven days (August 1- August 7) we have seen a total of twelve updates made to a total of five projects. Below is a listing of those projects with a link to their main blog page.


This Week’s Top Updates

We had a lot of updates this week, but with just five projects I have chose to feature just two of my favorite updates this week. I am very impressed with the progress the projects are making, and urge everyone to head over to the challenge’s content page, and check out all of the updates!


Project DomPi 09: Presence Emulator



Claiming my top spot this week is project DomPi by Sergio Martinez (mg.sergio). In this update Sergio talks about the decision he made to abandon the C++ modules approach for the software that he had been planning to utilize since the beginning of the project. This change came about due to a realization that he could easily do the C coding directly within the openHAB platform. With this new development he began working on the various systems the project will need such as the RF24 C++ gateway, command center, and presence emulator. Head over to the link above to read the full post as it is very informative, and clarifies how a few key systems in this project work. 



Project Alarm Clock #13: Text to Speech



Frederick Vandenbosch (fvan) is back on the list for the third week in a row with his project, Alarm Clock Control Unit, and I promise I am not being biased here. In this update Frederick walks his readers through the steps needed to get text to speech up and running on the Raspberry Pi, and configure things so that the text to speech works in both online and offline modes. I chose this post because just a few nights ago, I was working on a project with a friend, and the only issue we had was getting a text to speech engine working on his Raspberry Pi while it was offline. After a quick Google search, this update was the second link on the first page. A huge thanks to Frederick for this post, as it was created just in time to help me out in a big way! Head over to the link above to read the full post.



That is going to wrap things up for this installment of the Design Challenge Weekly Summary here at Element14.  This week was full of very well written updates, and as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I am very impressed with the quality of the updates in this challenge.  Massive respect goes out to everyone who has worked so hard at this challenge to make it one of the most active Design Challenges in quite some time. Remember to head over to the challenge’s main blog page to view each of the updates from this week. As always, I will be back next week with another installment, until then remember to Hack The World, and Make Awesome!