From the Canyon Edge -- :-Dustin

Thursday, April 23, 2015

1stBuild Hackathon -- GE Smart Appliances and Snappy Ubuntu

A prototype is worth a thousand meetings -- Words to live by!
A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending the 1stBuild Hackathon -- Hack the Home -- sponsored by GE, Canonical, and a host of other smart companies in the IoT space.

Over 250 makers -- hardware and software geeks much like myself -- competed for cash prizes in teams all night long in a 36 hour event at the amazing hackerspace hosted by 1stBuild and the University of Louisville in Kentucky.

Mark Shuttleworth recorded this message, played in the kickoff keynote, to start the hackathon:

Several entries did in fact use Snappy Ubuntu as the base operating system, including the 3rd Place entry, a Smart Crockpot!

I'll quote Jason Chodynieki, on the team that built that device, since I couldn't write it any better:
"I wanted to highlight that this project makes use of Snappy Ubuntu Core! Using Snappy, we were able to create a very modular application that could easily be updated across multiple devices if this project ever made it to production. Snappy provided us with the ability to use popular frameworks very easily and to package our application up as a Snap to make it accessible to the world. With Snappy and the associated CrockWatch snap, we are capable of dropping CrockWatch onto any device that is receiving sensor data from a Crockpot. Because of this, the CrockWatch application can not only run on the webserver (on a Raspberry Pi 2) we used for this project, but it can also be used on other devices. Imagine if your set top box on your TV could help show you what's cooking in the Crock Pot or if the screen on your fridge was capable of displaying this information! With Ubuntu Snappy, these thoughts could soon become reality!"

My wife absolutely loves this idea!  She often starts cooking dinner in the morning, in our slow cooker, and then spends the rest of the day running around town, dropping our kids off and picking them up from two different schools.  She would love the ability to remotely "check in" on the food, look at it from a camera, and adjust the temperature and pressure while out and about around town!

GE had a whole array of appliance available at the event, any of which could be controlled through a special interface, and a Raspberry Pi 2 running Snappy, including this fridge.

All in all, it was a fantastic event.  A big thanks to our hosts at 1stBuild and our colleagues at GE that introduced us to the event.  And an even bigger thanks to all the participants that worked with Ubuntu on their devices and to my colleague Massimo who helped them out!

Happy Hacking,