2nd Annual IoT Hack Day Delivers For Minnesota Makers, Creators

[photos by John Hoaglun]

Last weekend at Minnetronix HQ in St. Paul, makers young and old gathered to channel their creative into the Internet of Things.

The second annual IoT Hack Day, coordinated by Justin Grammens, with help from Patrick Delaney, Eric Tsai, Bill Falk, and Dan McCreary, drew over 70 participants who formed 14 teams, each with a unique product in mind.

The diversity of the projects is demonstrated by the four winning teams, each geared towards a different audience. First place winner Soundscout will crowd-source the data collection of airport noise and provide residents of impacted communities with evidence for the complaint process.

Tied for second were the Smart Pill Box and Go Go Gadget; the Smart Pill Box synchs with a smart phone and can assist users with aging parents by monitoring if they are taking their required medications. At the other end of the spectrum, the Go Go Gadget is geared towards parents with young children to help them determine how proficient the child is at identifying body parts. The Go Go Gadget also includes a home automation component which can be used to dim the lights or call for assistance.

While the first place winners were working to reduce noise pollution, coming in a close third place Jukebox Backpack is meant to bring the party with you. Made out of a computer bag, the portable sound system has LEDs that pulse to the music it plays.

Encouraging the next generation of IoT pioneers, the hack day also featured a children’s design your own costume event.

Led by McCreary and administered with the help of some volunteers from Minnetronix, the costume event gave the 13 attendees a chance to get hands on experience working with microprocessors and LEDs. For $20, the children received all the components needed to create something that they could take home that same day.

When asked if there will be future IoT Hack Days, Grammens confirmed that more are definitely in store.

“I’d love for there to be more than one a year. It’d be great if we could come up with a process so that maybe schools or colleges could put on their own events.” For those makers and creators who can’t wait for the next hack day, the IoTFuse Conference is coming this spring.


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  • Patrick Delaney

    The hack day was awesome – thanks to Tech.MN for the coverage and to John Hoaglun for the photos. From what I have seen in the after-event survey results so far, there is a huge amount of interest in doing another IoT hackathon in the spring. Please contact me if you’re interested in participating, leading, sponsoring or volunteering for this!