Just a quick post but I thought y’all might be interested. Last night I got to be part of an Amazon Echo hackathon. It was the first time anybody on our team had ever worked with the Echo so we needed every minute of the 4 hours we got to hack.
Here’s a picture our setup as we waited to present:
- Spark Core in a Spark Button. Responded to the “set color” command
- Spark Core + DHT22 running the PietteTech library. Responded to the “how hot is it in here?” and “how humid is it in here?” questions
- Amazon Echo
- Portable Power Supply (so we could untether the Spark Button to show everyone in the room)
- Power Supply for the other Spark Core and to power the WiFi hotspot
- WiFi hotspot running on a phone (to demonstrate that the Cores weren’t just connected to the same WiFi as the Echo) and Beer
We implemented the following workflow:
- Us: “Alexa, open Spark”
- Alexa: beep
- Us: “How humid is it in here?” or “How humid?”
- Alexa: “The humidity is 54%” (Used a Spark.variable to grab the humidity)
- Us: “How hot is it in here?” or “How hot?”
- Alexa: “It is 77 degrees Farenheight” (Used a Spark.variable to grab the temp)
- Us: “Set color red”
- Alexa: “Setting color to red” (Spark Button lights up red. Used a Spark.function to send the temp as "rrr,ggg,bbb)
Other colors were supported (yellow, green, magenta, cyan, etc)
We were lucky enough to find a SDE (Software Development Engineer) at the last second. Without him I don’t think we’d have gotten the Echo API implemented, it’s not as straightforward as you would think. The backend code itself was hosted on Heroku and written in Ruby. He used this Ruby Project to get it connected to the Spark API.
So, how did we do?
Out of the numerous teams there (I guess somewhere around 40-50 but I will ask for the exact number, judging took 3 hours) we did decently well. We came in tied for second!
We tied… AGAINST ANOTHER TEAM USING A SPARK CORE! (They used it to simulate making cocktails so I guess the tie is acceptable). Out of all the teams there only 3 did IoT projects, and we all came in top 3 (1st, 2nd, and 2nd). GO IoT! & Spark!
Anyway, let me know if anybody has any questions. This is my first hackathon in a while so I was pretty excited. It was a fun experience (the pizza was pretty good and free beer is always a good thing)