element14, Plotly and Texas Instruments (TI) are proud to announce 10 finalists in the "Internet of the Backyard" challenge, a competition designed to elevate summer activities. During this unique competition, designers will use the all-new SimpleLink™ Wi-Fi® CC3200 LaunchPadfrom TI and the online collaborative platform Plotly to bring Internet of Things (IoT) technology to traditional backyard elements.

“IoT is obviously a key trend in the electronics and engineering fields, and element14 is the place where engineers are building the internet of things,” said Dianne Kibbey, global head of community, element14. “We received some great proposals from people in the U.S. and abroad, and we’re looking forward to seeing how their builds could make summer more connected and enjoyable for people in the future.”

The participants and their proposed projects include:

  • Janis Alnis (Latvia) – automated tomato irrigation system
  • Christopher Bailey (U.S.) – moisture-detecting garden watering system that also deters pests
  • Don Bertke (U.S.) – storm detector; or a squirrel detector to keep them away from a bird feeder
  • Bill Crum (U.S.) – backyard gate monitoring system
  • Colin Gerrish (Ireland) – grass length monitoring device
  • Steve Hamilton (U.S.) – garden monitoring system measuring humidity, temperature, precipitation, sunlight and wind, among other factors
  • Lukasz Krysiewicz (Poland) – intelligent garden umbrella
  • Timothy Nott (U.S.) – automated bird observation system
  • Matthias Stutz (Germany) – rooftop weather station
  • Brian Sutherland (Canada) – humidity-sensing sprinkler

The finalists will post blog updates on element14.com/backyard every two weeks to show their progress, and the winner will be announced October 17, 2014, with the prize being a trip to an upcoming Maker Faire to show off their build.