Amazing IoT Smart Home Projects from the Element14 Raspberry Pi IoT Smarter Spaces Design Challenge


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I have been a part of the Maker / DIY community for over a decade at this point, and it feels like something I have been dreaming about since my first solder joint, just might be within my grasps. For years I have dreamed of a fully connected home that will allow me to automate many aspects of my daily life. I had let this dream simmer on the back burner for the last few years, but that fire was cranked back up to full blast recently when I began covering the Raspberry Pi IoT Smarter Spaces Design Challenge at Element14.

Over the course of fifteen weeks, sixteen challengers competed to design and develop the best “smarter space” in their home, office, or other venue using a set of sponsored hardware from Raspberry Pi, EnOcean, and more. I have been covering the Design Challenges at Element14 for some time now, and I thought that this would turn out to be a simple lights on/off style competition, but from day one, I could tell that I was very wrong in that assumption.

Over the course of the challenge, I saw everything from basic environmental sensor setups that reported back to a central hub using MQTT, all the way to fully automated smart homes that utilized presence sensing to perform a series of task when someone entered an area of the home. By far, I was most impressed with the level of innovation that took place over these fifteen weeks. One competitor, Caterina Lazaro, actually built a fitness competition into her smart-home project that allowed the homes residents to compete on a weekly basis to see who had exercised the most that week.

This competition definitely rekindled my desire to automate my home, and to build in controls that make task much easier to do from a mobile device or even through voice control. Unfortunately, there was not a lot of “Cloud Services” utilized in the competition, but this was mainly due to everyone using OpenHAB, or custom backend frameworks that provided mobile connectivity straight from the Raspberry Pi itself. Even still, the competition is definitely worth spending a few hours going over all of the projects. I have been doing this kind of stuff for almost fifteen years now, and I learned a lot from almost every project that was posted. Below I have listed a few links that may help you navigate the challenge a little better. My question for the Cayenne community is this: What concepts from the Smarter Spaces Design Challenge would benefit from integration with Cayenne? Let me know below!