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This weekend, a few of my coworkers and I participated at the AT&T Developer Summit Hackathon at the Palms Casino here in Las Vegas. We were exposed to some of the latest technology in the “Internet of Things”, which refers to the process of collecting data that is transmitted wirelessly from a plethora of tangible items. The event was by far the best hackathon I have attended. As developers, we were given the opportunity to work with some of the latest relevant products:
We partnered up with four developers from around the country to create an app that tracks someone having an emergency and directs first responders to their location. We envision this could be useful at large venues such as Rain Nightclub, where the hackathon was held.
To locate a patron within the nightclub, we used a fixed array of Qualcomm Gimbals, which are Bluetooth Smart devices that send signal strength metrics to nearby Bluetooth receivers. We created an iOS app that received data from the Gimbals and transmitted that data to the AT&T M2X API, a cloud-based datastore.
Next, we used that data to point the first responder in the direction of the patron. Our “first responder” wore an unreleased Plantronics Bluetooth headset, most similar to their Voyager Legend line, with a built in gyroscope. We calibrated the gyro at the entrance to the room and then (using trigonometry) we told the first responder to “turn left”, “turn right”, or “go straight”.
To our delight, we won a prize for the “Best Use of a Plantronics Product” category: thanks, Plantronics! Overall this was a great experience. We plan to continue to develop applications for our Plantronics headset and the "Internet of Things” in general. We look forward to applying what we learned to develop new products here at Pololu.