Latest Electric Imp Hackathon Forecasts Sunny Days Ahead

September/12/13

Hi, everyone. It’s time again for another Electric Imp update. Lots to catch you up on, as always, so let’s get right to it.

Electric Imp Hackathon v.3.0
We love taking an occasional break from our on-going mission to conquer the Internet of Things, and rolling up our sleeves to make new stuff with the imp. Our eagerly awaited third company hackathon in August once again featured a variety of clever new imp-enabled prototype devices, including these cool ones:

First up, we created a fun and informative weather forecast app that outputs to a thermal printer. Using a mobile phone’s GPS location (or hand-typed zip code) to set the forecast location, the app then uses Google’s Geocoding API to get the “pretty name” and zip code of the location, then talks to the APIs of both forecast.io and Weather Underground to get current and future weather data for the microclimate. A neat looking web page is generated and converted into an image bitmap that is sent to the printer. Now we know whether to grab a rain slicker or sunscreen when we leave the house in the morning.

image

We also built a handy imp-connected Nora controller (a Nora is battery powered sensor node) for little and big kids alike which guides a Hexbug spider via an accelerometer. As demonstrated in the video below, simple flicks of the controller up, down, right or left determine where the spider crawls.

We’re big on displays around Electric Imp, so it was not surprising to see a couple imp-enabled ones used for hackathon projects. The first was a VFD display that can scroll a variety of graphics, including a winking imp character, which helped energize the latter hours of the hackathon.

The second was an LED which accesses Twitter’s and Facebook’s APIs to display and update in real-time the number of followers and likes Electric Imp has on those respective social media sites. Additionally, when a new follower or “like” occurs, an imp-enabled cowbell in our office clangs to alert us the moment it happens.

Those are just a few examples of Hackathon-inspired devices we have created to demonstrate how the imp can be utilized to provide device connectivity. As always, we love hearing about what you create using the imp, so please feel free to share them with us - and the Electric Imp developer community - here.

A Fond Farewell to Our Impterns
As summer draws to an end, so do the internships of our recent class of talented interns - Ayush, Gino, Kara and Sidd. Like proud parents, we’re sad to send them back to school, but wish them all the best in the upcoming year. As featured in our blog, they accomplished some cool stuff over the past three months and we look forward to seeing the amazing things they do in the coming years.

Welcome Aboard, Roger!
While we bid goodbye to our interns, we said hello to Roger Lipscombe, our newest software engineer and team member who joins our ever-expanding Cambridge, England office. Prior to Electric Imp, Roger was a software architect at Trayport, a London-based provider of energy trading solutions to traders, brokers and exchanges. Roger attended University of Warwick, the alma mater of Electric Imp CEO and Co-founder Hugo Fiennes.

Roger is excited to be at the forefront of the Internet of Things movement and helping spearhead Electric Imp’s pioneering role within it. In an ideal world, his go-to imp-enabled device would be a toaster that sends him an email whenever his toast is ready. Sounds like the perfect project for the next Electric Imp hackathon, right, Roger? 

Agents and New IDE Available in Open Beta
We just announced that agents, along with our new IDE, are now in open beta. We’re looking forward to seeing what you can do with the new functionality. Additional information about joining the open beta can be found here.

Save the Date! Upcoming Electric Imp Meet-ups 
If you live in the Bay Area or around Boston and are interested in learning more about Electric Imp and how our platform can be used for device connectivity, we hope you’ll join us at the following meet-ups in September and October. 

September 19: Electric Imp community Google Hangout online (We’ll provide access details via Electric Imp’s Twitter and Facebook pages a few days prior to the Hangout)
September 28: Hackers@Berkeley HackJam

October 4-6: HackMIT
October 19: Modular Electronics Meetup (TechShopSJ)
October 22: Make:SF - 101 Workshop @ TechShopSJ

That’s all for now! We look forward to updating you again in a few weeks.

Tom Sarris
Communications Manager