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    See all the great projects submitted here!


    The Challenge


    There are numerous smart home products on the market today, but why buy when you can D.I.Y.? We want you to use your electronics skills to build a smart home prototype based around the Avnet Azure Sphere MT3620 kit. This board is great for these kinds of applications, with built-in ambient light, temperature, and barometric pressure sensors, along with numerous expansion possibilities, including sockets for MikroElektronika click boards that open up a whole world of sensors, wireless connectivity options, and more.


    Example applications for this challenge could include smart thermostats, systems that sense health hazards common to the home (carbon monoxide, VOCs, etc), smart devices to help care for your pet and plant friends, and many more.


    So get cracking on your project ideas, because after all, home is where the hack is!


    The Giveaway


    We're hoping that we have many community members with MT3620 kits on hand, since we conducted our amazing Sensing the World Design Challenge last year, but we are also offering some free gear to help you get started.




    We're offering 5 MT3620MT3620 kits to members who propose great project ideas. Just post your proposal in the comments below on this document, and each week we will review the submissions and, if we dig yours, we will reach out to you to arrange to ship a kit. These 5 kits are offered on a first come, first served basis, based on when the comments are posted and the quality of the proposals, so get your submissions in now! Each contestant may receive only one (1) Azure Sphere board.


    We are also offering the following MikroE click boards to upgrade your kit! You may choose one (1) from the following list, and you may receive it in addition to the MT3620 kit if you are chosen, but you may not receive multiple Azure Sphere boards or multiple click boards. Be sure to detail how you plan to use the click board in your project when you leave your comment!


    Temperature & Humidity ClickAir Quality 4 ClickRelay Click
    (ALL CLAIMED): Buy NowBuy Now(ALL CLAIMED): Buy NowBuy Now(ALL CLAIMED): Buy NowBuy Now


    Environment ClickUV 3 ClickThermo 7 Click
    (ALL CLAIMED): Buy NowBuy Now(ALL CLAIMED): Buy NowBuy Now

    (ALL CLAIMED): Buy NowBuy Now


    The Kit



    The Avnet Azure Sphere MT3620 Starter KitAzure Sphere MT3620 Starter Kit supports prototyping of secure, end-to-end IoT implementations using Microsoft’s Azure Sphere. The small form-factor carrier board includes a production-ready MT3620 Sphere module with WiFi connectivity, along with multiple expansion interfaces for easy integration of off-the-shelf sensors, displays, motors, relays, and more. The downloadable getting started tutorial guides developers through the development steps from board setup to application coding.


    The production-ready Sphere MT3620 module is based on the MT3620 SoC, which includes built-in Microsoft security, WiFi connectivity, and the combined versatility and power of an Arm Cortex-A7 processor with the low overhead and real-time guarantees of two Arm Cortex-M4F microcontrollers. A suite of on-chip peripherals, real-time clock, Flash, and RAM are also available. In addition to the MT3620, the 33 x 22 mm module includes a dual-band WiFi chip antenna and system clock. Up to 27 configurable GPIOs and three configurable serial ports (UART, I2C, or SPI) are provided as I/Os on the module.


    The carrier board connects the Sphere module I/Os to two MikroE Click sockets, an I2C Grove connector, a connector supporting the addition of a 128 x 64 OLED graphical display, a 3D accelerometer, 3D Gyro, temperature sensor, and an ambient light sensor. Debugging is accomplished through a USB-to-UART interface, which also provides the necessary 5V power for the board.


    User applications for the embedded Sphere controller are developed in C using Microsoft’s Visual Studio IDE and the Azure Sphere SDK. Visual Studio provides a development environment for compiling and debugging application code. The combination of Visual Studio, the versatile carrier card, and the production ready Sphere module delivers a powerful starting point for IoT developers interested in learning, prototyping, and deploying Azure Sphere based solutions.


    To help you get started with your Azure Sphere KitAzure Sphere Kit, we have three element14 bloggers who have written detailed instructions for startup: Brian Willess's Out-of-Box demo, Cabe Atwell's Getting Started guide, and Workshopshed's Blog Series.


    Important Dates


    Challenge BeginsApril 3, 2020
    Free Kit Proposals ChosenWeekly
    Projects DueJune 10, 2020
    Winners AnnouncedJune 24, 2020


    The Requirements


    Contestants must use the Avnet MT3620 kit as the basis of their project, but they may add further components as they choose. They do NOT need to connect to Azure cloud services with their build. If contestants do choose to incorporate Azure cloud services in their project, it will add value to their submission in the eyes of the judges, but it is not required for their projects to be considered for prizes.


    Contestants will be required to post a blog fully documenting their completed, working project in the Azure Sphere space.

    Blogs must include:

    • bill of material
    • code
    • photos and/or video
    • clear instructions and other relevant information so that a user following along could recreate their project.

    If they post additional high-quality blogs about their build process, that will add to the credibility of their project and the judges will review those blogs, but it is not required. Here are some examples of high-quality blogs written by previous design challenge winners: RFID Fingerprint Skeleton Key, Bluetooth Smart Doorbell, and Raspberry Pi IoT Alarm Clock.


    There is no application process for this Design Challenge. However, members who need a kit will have the chance to win one of 5 free MT3620 kits if they propose an interesting project in the comments on this document. This offer will be on a first come, first served basis, based on the comments they leave on the contest page. The same will apply to the above-mentioned offer of free MikroE click boards to enhance their projects.


    Challenge is now closed




    The projects will be judged on their ingenuity, how well they achieve their stated purpose, and on how thoroughly the project is documented in your blog. Choose great project ideas that are also achievable within the allotted time frame, including the time you'll need to document what you've built. So maybe an Azure Sphere-based cold fusion reactor isn't the best idea, for multiple reasons?


    The challenge judges will include element14 staff, top members of element14 who are not participating in the challenge, and guest judges from Avnet.




    1 Grand PrizeMicrosoft Surface Laptop 3, 13.5" screen, Intel Core i7 Processor, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD OR
    Keysight DSOX1204A Digital OscilloscopeKeysight DSOX1204A Digital Oscilloscope AND Keysight 34450A Bench Digital MultimeterKeysight 34450A Bench Digital Multimeter OR
    DJI Mavic 2 Pro Quadcopter with Fly More Combo Kit
    2 Runner-Up PrizesMicrosoft Surface Pro 7, Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD AND Sonos One Smart Speaker


    See attached Terms and Conditions below