At the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) in San Jose, Calif., in April, Lantronix Inc. announced the winners of its annual Wireless Design Contest. The contest challenges engineers, students and hobbyists worldwide to stretch their imaginations and come up with creative uses for the Lantronix WiPort 802.11 b/g embedded device server to wirelessly network-enable an electronic device.
This years contest generated nearly 200 entries, which were judged on technical merit, originality, usefulness, cost-effectiveness and design optimization.
First place and $6,000 was awarded to Damien Hubaux and his engineering team from CETIC in Belgium. Their Smart Adaptable Network Device (SAND) System is a small, autonomous, flexible embedded system based on a soft processor implemented in FPGA logic. SAND is being used by Key Driving Competences, a Belgian truck company, to acquire objective data about its drivers behavior to train workers and decrease fuel consumption.
Second place ($4,000) was awarded to Kevin Hubbard, from Washington, for his WiFi Clock, a fully functional alarm clock with Internet access. A users customized weather, news, and e-mail can be downloaded automatically from the Internet to a WiFi-enabled room. The alarm buzzer can be configured to beep on incoming e-mails, and sound an alarm on a specified emergency. The snooze bar rapidly toggles between display pages making it an innovative design for end users to retrieve real-time information.
Third Place ($2,000) was awarded to Mohamad Abou El-Nasr, assistant professor at the Arab Academy for Science and Technology in Egypt. His Wi-Aquarium allows users to remotely control and monitor their aquarium anytime from anywhere in the world. Users monitor the fish via a camera, feed the fish, adjust the heater, turn the lights on and off and control the filter. The device can even send an e-mail to the user with updated status, ensuring an optimum aquarium environment and healthy fish.
Michael Schuchardt from Michigan Technological University was recognized for the Best Entry from a Student and/or Educational Institution, and awarded $4,000 for his Home Dashboard design. This device retrieves user-specified information from an Internet server and displays it in a customized, user-defined format. Examples of such information include weather forecasts and stock information.
The best 802.11 b/g and Ethernet-Swappable Combination (pin-compatible Ethernet and wireless solutions) and $2,000 was awarded to Christian Herzog from Software Technologies Group in Illinois. His design enables a direct connection to 802.15.4 and Zigbee networks in a totally wireless environment without the need to wire gateways to each other. What once was done through an Ethernet connection now can be done wirelessly, which reduces costs by eliminating expensive cable runs.
The Lowest Power Usage award and $1,000 was garnered by Shahar Seifer, PhD, from Israel for his Geophone Array System that wirelessly acquires information from buried geophones to form a complete underground picture that can detect underground structures. This is ideal for applications such as land security and archeological sites.
Lantronix will announce details for the next Wireless Design Contest in August 2007. For more information on the Wireless Design Contest and Lantronix WiPort, visit: http://www.lantronix.com/info/wirelesscontest.