With the Easter holiday period upon us, the offices of element14 here in Chicago are a bit quieter than usual. This means I have less email to respond to and fewer meetings to attend. I've taken the luxury of having a slower work time by touring around the e14 site to see what interesting stuff people are doing.
I really like the post called What beginners mistakes have I made? Member Maciej Piechotka is trying to create a simple PCB and started a discussion asking for tips. He's gotten a lot of great advice already with 15 comments. For me this is our support community in action. It's nice to see.
Then there's the Bluetooth Unleashed Design Challenge. I'll confess this is a favorite of mine. I sort of thought up the idea and sold the e14 team on doing it. Of course, everything around here is a team effort, so the idea was fleshed out and developed by e14phil and the rest of the team.
The Bluetooth Design Challenge is a more open concept than element14 normally does. It offers 10 Bluetooth capable boards, which a Challenger chooses in his or her application. Another big change is the Grand Prize: a whopping $2,000 US (or in your local currency). I think that was Mindi's or Phil's idea. For that amount alone, it's worth the effort of applying.
I personally like design challenges that are less defined. I am interested to see the creativity and the wild ideas that are prototyped. I also have been inspired by the growing interest in Bluetooth, with BT 5, rolling out this past year. BT has a longer range, a better data rate, much better throughput, and can take advantage of mesh networks. It's truly become a global wireless connectivity standard. With the Google Home, Amazon Echo and any number of Bluetooth-enabled IOT inventions, Bluetooth is being unleashed all over.I really wanted to "unleash it on the community to see what they came up with.
Okay, I peeked into a few of the applications. They are interesting. They are innovative. They are so very copacetic.
Someone wants to build a simple Bluetooth system that connects the customer to the waiter and the waiter to the kitchen. If you live in Chicago like myself and are in a packed bar and are having a hard time getting the attention of your waiter, this is a must-have eating/drinking/partying personal communication gizmo.
Someone else wants to build a Music Beat Generator with a BLE connected vibration sensor.The vibration sensor senses dance step vibrations, then generates the beat for music fit for the footstep. Now that's something I did not expect!
For people with AAPSAD (Adaptive Ambiance for People with Stress and Depression), another person wants to use a single board computer with a camera which recognizes facial expressions and understands one's mood and instantly setting out a signals (via Bluetooth) to control Lighting, Ventilation, Smell, Music, etc. If that isn't creative, I don't know what is!
And yet another person wants to create a Bluetooth game with Balloons. I won't say anything else. Can't give it all away, right?
I'm sure you could think up plenty more ways of using Bluetooth. That's what we are seeking in this Design Challenge. You can be serious. You can be fun. You can be practical. You can be simple or complex. Just Choose Bluetooth and Unleash something to the element14 community!
If you want to flesh out some ideas, leave a comment below or message me. I'm more than happy to help.