OpenRemote Newsletter October 2014

October 2014
In this newsletter
The winners of the
Internet of Things
Challenge 2014
First place: self
learning bedroom
air-conditioning, by
Michal Rutka
Second place: the
intelligent iAlarm,
by Othmar Kyas
Third place:
Medicine manager
and more, by
Dominique de Wit
Fourth place:
Sparkling Bambi, a
toy, by Hannah
Fifth place: Magic
Box remote
control, by Lars
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Editor’s note
Winners IoT Challenge 2014
This newsletter is dedicated to the
winners of the OpenRemote Internet of
Things Challenge 2014.
When we decided to start this challenge a
few months ago we invited people to come
with inspiring ideas and focus on the true
value of an Internet of Things: the
We honestly had no clue what to expect,
but we were positively surprised by the
outcome. Thanks to a great jury, we managed
to point out five winners which managed to
come with surprising and less obvious ideas.
Some made existing devices smarter, like the
old air-con, or the existing alarm-clock. Some
focussed on new users: children or those in
need of medicine. And despite the fact that
we offer visualization tools, one purposely
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dismissed the “old-fashioned” smartphone
control and replaced with a Magic Box.
The jury was most impressed by the
refurbishment of the old air-con, which
turned into a self learning device.
Congratulations to Michal, winning the first
prize. Close second, with a photo finish, was
the iAlarm of Othmar. The other winners are
presented as well in this newsletter, and are
just as impressive…
We hope you will
enjoy watching the
accompanying videos
and copying the ideas.
Maybe we will see
you next year with an
even better idea!
NEWSLETTER October 2014
Smarting up your old air-conditioning
Winner OpenRemote IoT Challenge 2014
By Michal Rutka
In warm days I like my bedroom to be cooled when
I'm going to sleep. I have an old room air-con device,
however using it is a bit problematic. It must be turned
on manually prior to the bed time and the moment of
switching would vary depending on bedroom
temperature. The cooling rate changes depending on
the outside temperature/sun position. Enough hassle to
go for the simplest solution, turn on the air-con long
time before going to bed, to be certain that it is cooled
down on time.
Needless to say that this is a very energy inefficient
solution and still requires me to go upstairs before going
to sleep... there are days that I simply forget this which
is immediately punished by sleeping in the sauna.
So why not make the air-con self learning…by
adding a switch, presence, and temperature sensor?
Also see:
- Video of the application: Retrofit air-con system
- Wanted to build this yourself, see the wiki-page
“– simple idea, clear
market. People would buy
it today. It would work
across air-conditioning
solutions, witness the old
unit he used it with. Usable
every day”
Narayan Pant - INSEAD
The intelligent iAlarm
Get up earlier to avoid the traffic jam
One hour before my wake-up time the
OpenRemote controller retrieves local weather
information from the Internet Weather Service. The
response is parsed for the keywords rain and snow. In
case of a match the wake-up time of the intelligent
alarm is set to go off 40 minutes earlier, to avoid the
traffic jam… When the alarm goes off, the audiosystem of the house is turned on to a volume level of
25%, set to a defined playlist or radio station. The light
in selected rooms is dimmed up to a level of 50%.
Also see:
- Video of the application: iAlarm
- Want to build this yourself, see the wiki-page
“Application is relevant and insight based.
video is nice and self-explanatory.
Excellent video, very nice job!”
Emile Aarts - Eindhoven University of Technology
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NEWSLETTER October 2014
Medicine manager and more…
A concept worth implementing...
By Dominique van Luijt
The application has started out as a way too
control the lights with an iPhone. Several applications
were build too solve problems. Most important is the
medicine manager, which tracks medicine usage and
alerts on set times using different methods depending
on location.
OpenRemote is used too snooze and stop alerts
when around the house. Email with VIP Mailbox is
used when not in the wifi. The main controller is based
on OpenRemote which is the portal too control all
different controllers around the house. Multiple
Raspberry Pi's, with each it's own function and
hardware connected to GPIO ports, are accessible via
This way Home Brew applications get access to
any in and output. Additionally for my Home Theatre,
in the living room, I now use a Logitech Harmony
Ultimate. This comes with a HUB which in it's turn
connects to the WiFi network. This way all IR devices
are controllable with a smart phone. I'm still using the
harmony app for this, because I haven't put the effort
into OpenRemote yet.
So still integrating more and more into
OpenRemote which ultimately will be my One-AppSolution.
Also see:
- Video of the different applications
- Get inspired by the concept, see the wiki-page
“The integration of a wide variety of
devices is great, creating an intelligent
and responsive environment. The
Medicine manager is not as well
developed, clearly work in progress.”
Ken Lutz - UC Berkeley Swarm Lab
Sparkling Bambi
Kids will tell us our future
By Hannah Suarez
The Internet of Things will change how we are
placing interactivity, connections, networking and
humanoid attributes with inanimate objects. I want to
explore a concept that lies at the centre of our first
human connection with inanimate objects - our
beloved toy.
I want to create a product, and subsequently a
brand, that will stay with consumers from an early age
right through to adulthood. Imagine the possibilities in a way that photo sharing and status updates change
our habits - imagine how IoT toys can change a
child's, and subsequently, adult's life. Forget about cars,
fridges or smoke alarms. The biggest mindshare that
we should be looking at for IoT should start with the
child's imagination.
The application is a soft toy that takes data from its
environment and is connected via an app for the
parent. Hopefully it inspires to come with more toy
Also see:
- Video of the application: Sparkling Bambi
- Want to get inspired by the concept, see the wikipage
“Kind of weird, but I like it.
Could be neat if it’s not
annoying, and fun for
Rachel Metz - MIT Technology
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NEWSLETTER October 2014
The Magic Box
It’s not a smartphone, it’s not a remote, it’s…magic
By Lars Lidstrom
Sometimes magic can be surprisingly easy… In
stead of using a switch or “old fashioned”
smartphone or remote control to change your light
setting, why not use the Magic box. With turning the
box you change your lighting scenes in your room.
Also see:
- Video of the application: Magic Box
- Get inspired by the concept, see the wiki-page
Internet of Things Challenge 2014
We like to thank all of you...
Many definitions of the Internet of Things exist
and organizations are arguing alternative naming
conventions. In addition technical architectures and
protocol preferences are thrown around. However…the
true value of an Internet of Things is in the application
and the benefits to individuals or society.
That’s why we, as OpenRemote started the IoT
Community Challenge 2014 and invited you to reveal
this true value of the Internet of Things.
Although we left the judgement to the jury, we have
seen some remarkable and unexpected applications.
coming from different angles: technology, people,
business, and organization.
We appreciate the effort the jury has put into
commenting, judging the submissions, and of course
picking the winners.
That leaves us with congratulating the winners,
Michal, Othmar, Dominique, Hannah, and
Dominique. They will be contacted personally,
receiving their prizes.
Finally we want to thank all contestants. We have
seen some less obvious applications, which in our
opinion prove that there must be many more great
applications out there, still to be discovered.
The winners were chosen by the independent jury,
which consists of persons who have researched how the
Internet of Things impacts the world, and are still
Don’t leave your ideas to next year’s Challenge but
doing so… Emile Aarts (TU/e), Ken Lutz UC
feel free to share them right now!
Berkeley), Narayan Pant (INSEAD), and Rachel Metz
(MIT Technology Review). They looked at the ideas, all
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