Summer is here, which means it’s time for grilling, pool parties and other outdoor fun with friends and family. Texas Instruments, Plotly and element14 are proud to announce a new competition designed to take summer activities to the next level: the Internet of the Backyard. During this unique design competition, designers will use the all-new SimpleLink™ Wi-Fi® CC3200 LaunchPad from Texas Instruments and the online collaborative platform Plotly.

“We immediately recognized the potential of the CC3200 LaunchPad, especially in powering Internet of Things applications,” said Dianne Kibbey, global head of community, element14. “We’re encouraging our members to explore the new product and make full use of its features. What better way than in harnessing its power for summertime backyard applications?”

In designing the CC3200 LaunchPad, Texas Instruments has produced the industry's first single-chip programmable MCU with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. At the heart of the device lies a high-performance ARM® Cortex™-M4. Combined with onboard temperature sensors and a 3-axis accelerometer, Texas Instruments' new product is ready to drive an entire IoT application with a single IC right out of the box.

A few examples of how a high-performance IoT device could enhance summer get-togethers include:

  • Barbeque monitors: An IoT-enabled barbeque that can send text messages to let you know your food is ready
  • Pool safety alert: A system to notify adults when children are playing too close to the pool or have fallen in
  • Garden watering system: Detect the hydration level of backyard planters and adjust watering levels as necessary
  • Cooler alert: Let the CC3200 LaunchPad tell you when it's time to refill the cooler with ice or beverages

Plotly makes it easy for design engineers to capture, stream, and visualize data from their development kits, and they have developed a custom API just for LaunchPad users to easily connect their development kits to the Internet.

Potential participants can go to to sign up for free and detail their proposed idea. Ten official participants will be selected and receive a CC3200 LaunchPad, as well as a stipend to purchase additional parts. They’ll be asked to post blog updates every two weeks to show their progress, and the winner will be announced October 13, 2014, with the prize being a trip to an upcoming Maker Faire to show off their build.