Working for a technology company, it’s often easy to understand why the Internet of Things makes sense. On the larger scale it’s about creating efficiencies that ultimately should improve our life. Whether in the smart grid for power management to reduce energy waste, or the connected car for traffic management to save lives, the common tread is connectivity making things “smart.”
Without even realizing it, my home is slowly… transforming into a smarter home. For starters, I’m connected to a smart grid. For my last birthday I received an amazing WiFi HiFi System that is connected to my phone, enabling me to stream just about anything and manage the zones, the music and the volume in each room. Then a couple of months ago I received an Internet connected coffee machine. You might ask – why on Earth would you need an internet connected coffee pot if coffee makers have timers? Well for me it was specifically about weekends, when I don’t set a timer because I don’t know when I will wake. And to get out of bed to turn the coffee on, only to go back to bed and wait for it to brew was a pain – especially in the winter when the house was cold in the morning. I faced a problem however when pairing my coffee pot to my WiFi network. The password for my network was too many characters for the coffee pot app to manage. After searching and calling tech support I gave up and went back to my old coffee maker. It wasn’t until last week when I switched Internet providers that I connected my coffee pot and have been able to enjoy my mornings even more.
Sharing this experience with my co-worker he pointed out that the blood pressure monitor he had recently purchased wouldn’t pair easily either. After two days of frustration with tech support, he finally got to 2nd level support and the issue was resolved. In both of these instances, adding NFC for pairing would have saved so much frustration on the consumers end and resources on the tech support end. I didn’t recognize the convenience I had experienced with my pairing of my speakers until I was confronted with a situation that was just the opposite.
I think it is my slow foray into the Smart Home that excites me most about NXP’s sponsorship of the upcoming “Hack the Home” event, a 2-day event by First Build (April 10-11th, 2015 in Louisville, KY) where Makers, Techies, Engineers, and Artists/Designers come up with the home of the future. NXP and our partner element14, are providing Explore NFC (raspberry pi) boards to enable quick design with NFC. With over $10,000 in prizes, contestants will strive to find new ways to make life easier and get to work with a variety of resources like:
- 3D printers
- Laser Cutters
- Water Jet
- CNC Mill
- Bridgeport Mill
- Toolroom Lathe
- Sheetmetal cutting, bending, and forming
- Welding (MIG, TIG, Stick, Plasma, Spot and Oxy/Acetylene)
- Hand Powertools
- Drill Press
- Woodworking (table saw, miter saw, band saw, jointer, planer)
- Circuit Board Mill
- Reflow Oven
- Soldering stations
- Power Supplies
Learn more about the event at https://firstbuild.com/mary/mega-hackathon-hack-the-home/brief/
We will post some pictures of the event on our Twitter handle @NXP so keep an eye out.