During the TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon in New York this weekend, Sam Harrel presented an idea of creating something to do with Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is a network of physical objects embedded with sensors, software, electronics and connectivity. These physical objects enable IoT to achieve greater service and value by exchanging data with the operator, manufacturer and other devices that are connected.
Harrell succeeded in creating an IoT solution that combined the cloud and hardware using an Apple Watch app, iPhone app and a service sponsor Atlantic.net. Harrell typically works on mobile solutions, but he came to this weekend’s hackathon with the idea of learning more about how the Internet of Things works.
“I had a sense of doing something to do with the smart home, but I wasn’t sure what tools would be available that I could use in the limited timeframe,” Harrel said. He added that he wanted something that could easily bolt onto the home infrastructure and appliances that already exist. “The problem I see is we can’t afford to rebuild everything to connect to the Internet.” His idea is to make the already existing appliances smart.
Harrel managed to make a remarkable amount of progress setting up a group of sensors to communicate with the board. He also made the board to communicate with the web, and finally the web server to interact with the apps. He had written the simple Apple Watch app and the iPhone app.
Harrel said it was fun because it was his first foray in IoT hardware and the Apple Watch. He used temperature sensors, light sensors, an accelerometer and a speaker. You can buy kits that include all of these sensors, but some of the sponsors supplied parts he needed. Harrel got his Intel Edison board from another hackathon.
The solution can let you know things like if your appliance is on or off or if you left your garage door open. It can also let you know how much water you’re using with monitoring capability on the iPhone and Apple Watch.
Harrel said that the commercial version of this application would be a starter pack of about 10 or more small sensors that users would stick around their houses to electrical equipment, appliances, doors or anything they want to monitor. And then users could track and monitor these devices from their phone and watch from anywhere in the world.