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Swisscom Hackathon Wrapup

Swisscom Zurich Hackathon 2015 Wrapup : ARMmbed + ST Nucleo + Semtech LoRA + Actility cloud

Last weekend the ARM mbed team attended the LoRa-focused Swisscom Hackathon at Impact Hub Zurich. With 100 hackers organized into 14 teams and a tremendous amount of support from the mentors some truly amazing projects were created.

The Swisscom Hackathon was focused on using the low power LoRa radio network that Swisscom are piloting in Zurich and Geneva using 30 LoRa gateways. Hackers used the ARM mbed ecosystem (www.mbed.com or developer.mbed.org/ ?) to build code for the Semtech LoRA shield on a ST Nucleo board that connected to the Actility front end for the Swisscom cloud platform. Prior to the event the mbed team had hosted a series of workshops on Getting started with LoRA using Semtech shields and Getting started with the Actility cloud. With over 110K packets sent and less than 0.00001% packet drop the LoRa network really shone through as a stable backbone for enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). /media/uploads/mbedAustin/swisscomhackathonbp_qIIwZT6.png

Friday: Ideas, team building, and start of the hack!

Friday night was a huge rush of ideas, presentations and team forming. Kicking off the night was a presentation from Christian Stammel from Wearable Technologies (www.wearable-technologies.com/) on the future of IoT, wearable devices on and in your body, and how LoRa is poised to be a key enabling technology in the future. Following the intro, presentation of challenges from Swiss Rail and others to use IoT to increase customer happiness, and dinner, teams formed up and the hacking began.

The mbed team started the hack with a ton of Semtech Lora shields, ST Nucleo boards, and Seeed Grove sensors. By Sunday night every piece of hardware was used in epic hacks!

Saturday : coffee and tea and cucumber soda oh my!

Saturday was a flurry of activity from early in the morning to late in the evening. With an active coffee bar open at Impact Hub all day and evening everyone was fully fueled and hacking all day long.

Various Prototypes started, fell and evolved over the course of the day. Lots of the coolest discussion happened on the DribDat forums that were spun up for the event.

Smart Train pass

These guys put together an automatic train ticket system that relays the position of the user back to the main base using LoRA, thus enabling the back end to determine if the person has entered a train or not and charge them appropriately. They had some really cool error detection algorithms that accounted for pedestrians walking near but not on the train and likewise for users in cars near the train but not on it.

Umbrella.io : the umbrella corporation

These guys had an awesome vision and implementation for connected umbrellas that took two forms, one personal and one commercial.

The personal application used the low power LoRA radio to connect to the internet and visually display the expected weather for the day on the hilt of the umbrella, so the user could know if they would need the umbrella that day depending on the color of the hilt. In the morning with just simple touch on your umbrella, you’ll know if you need it for that day or if you're good to go.

The commercial application was an umbrella rental / loaner system that would encourage customer and brand loyalty by giving the user an umbrella for free, and in return periodically reminding them to come into the store. There was even a suggested idea for gamification to use the umbrella as a rewards card / interactive system for user engagement at stores and around town.

GrosiAlarm - Non-invasive elder care for dementia patients

The GrossiAlarm team put together a wonderful elder care device that both gave piece of mind to those responsible for the elder patient while still respecting the personal privacy and dignity of the patient. The basic premise of the device was a watch that would use LoRA to report the location of the user back to a home-base server. The location however would not be given to the care-givers unless the patient wandered outside of a set safe zone boundary, because as one hacker said he "didn’t want to know when grandma was going on her dates". The only exception to this privacy rule would be if the patient activated a special emergency button mode that then would report the patient’s precise location to loved ones and if no response was received in a set amount of time, emergency services would be notified.

iPusher - BLE notifications for delays using LoRA backend

The iPusher team developed base stations that connect to the backend over LoRA and notify those around the base stations via Eddystone of events pertinent to their location. The idea was to have one in every train station, so if a delay was affecting a particular station, the message would be sent out over Eddystone beacons to notify those at the station with up-to-date information on their cellular devices. Think interactive in depth reports and real-time updates as they actually occur.

Sunday : Sleepless Swiss Shenanigans and Presentations

On Sunday everyone got an early start and worked on polishing their demos and presentations for judging. After a tremendous amount of effort, caffeine and nerves all the presentations concluded and the judges announced the following winners:

In first place:

Team MechartLab+ with their Grosi Alarm - A tracking and alarm watch for dementia sufferers, allowing a geofence to be defined that triggers the alarm, if the wearer strays outside. They took home first price for their excellent total concept presentation.

In second place:

Dr. M & Friends’ - LoRa-connected smart ticket sharing its position and speed through the LoRa network, allowing automatic charging when you travel on a train.

In third place:

Mila’s Umbrella-as-a-service - Showing that as a service business models can be applied to low cost products.

And, the audience award (measured by applause):

Team Panda’s SBB Chill - allowing you to find a suitable train seat based on the profiles of travelers – quiet, working, listening to music etc.

All in all, a very good event with lots of innovative prototype products using LoRa and the other technologies and really good feedback at the end – all questions about event support and technologies etc received close to the highest grades. As all us people offering technology and support got to work very close together, and we are all looking forward to the next event!


Awesome 48 hour LoRA focused Hackathon hosted by Swisscom at Impact Hub Zurich. Using the ARM mbed IoT Device Platform, ST Nucleo boards, Semtech LoRA radios, and Actility frontend for the Swisscom Cloud 100 hackers build awesomeness. Some won, some lost, some walked away with venture capital connections, but everyone had a great time and learned a lot about how to use LoRA to enable IoT in products and projects going forward. For a full list of groups and their projects see the DribDat page for the Hackathon.

Gearing up for ARM TechCon 2015 – ARM mbed Highlights

ARM TechCon is fast approaching and with only less than a week away, we wanted to share some of the ARM mbed highlights to make sure you put them on your calendar.

mbed Zone at ARM TechCon


Join us at the ARM mbed Zone (Booth #512) on the ARM TechCon show floor from Nov 11-12 in Santa Clara, CA. Our lead engineers will be onsite to take you through our latest products and how we are enabling developers to focus on their key value add features and ease deployment of IoT devices at scale. Demos will include mbed OS, mbed Device Connector, Thread, yotta and not to mention more than 20 mbed partners showcasing their own mbed supported products and services.

You will find these partner pods on the mbed Zone: 1248, Advantech, Alcatel-Lucent, Atmel, ForgeRock, Freescale, IBM, Maxim Integrated, NXP, Silicon Labs, SpinDance, STMicroelectronics, Qualcomm, u-blox, wot.io, and Zebra.

Rotating mbed Partner Showcase at the mbed bar: See live demos on both Wednesday & Thursday at the mbed bar.

  • 11:00am-12:00pm: Western Digital
  • 12:00pm-1:00pm: Accenture
  • 2:00pm-3:00pm: PixArt
  • 3:00pm-4:00pm: LTEK
  • 4:00pm-5:00pm: SK Telecom
  • 5:00pm-6:30pm: Nexus

Come to the booth to celebrate ARM’s 25th Anniversary

  • When: Wed Nov 11 from 5-6:30pm
  • Where: ARM TechCon Expo theater and floor
  • Champagne and cake to be served from the mbed Zone (#512)
  • Commemorative cocktails served from the ARM booth (#300)
  • Around the world food stations

Lastly, make sure you book these sessions in your calendar.

mbed Session at ARM TechCon

Wednesday November 11

Accelerating Internet of Things with ARM mbed - Presented by ARM

  • Krisztian Flautner | General Manager, ARM Internet of Things
  • Location: Ballroom D
  • Time: 10:30am - 11:20am

Hands on Workshop: Building an end-to-end IoT Application with ARM mbed and IBM IoT Foundation the Freescale FRDM-K64F platform

  • Sam Grove | Staff Engineer, ARM
  • Location: Great America J
  • Time: 10:30am - 12:20pm

Don’t forget to get your Software Developer’s Workshop Pass so you can join us for the talk! Use the discount code ARMSDW50 for a 50% discount.

Secured Communication Between Devices and Clouds with LinkIt ONE and mbed TLS - Presented by Mediatek

  • Steve Si | Technical Director, MediaTek Labs
  • Location: Ballroom B
  • Time: 10:30am - 11:20am

ARM mbed powering the Internet of Things that really matter

  • Pelle Svensson | Product Marketing Manager, u-blox
  • Location: Ballroom E
  • Time: 11:30am - 12:20pm

Making IoT Scalable, Robust and Easy to Deploy - Presented by ARM

  • Zach Shelby | VP of Marketing, ARM Internet of Things
  • Michael Norman | Technical Marketing Manager, Freescale
  • John M Cohn | IBM Fellow, Internet of Things, IBM
  • Pilgrim Beart | Founder, 1248.io
  • Location: Ballroom D
  • Time: 11:30am - 12:20pm

Improving Business Agility with ARM mbed for Connected Devices

  • Derek Wallace | Product Management, MultiTech
  • Location: Expo Theater
  • Time: 3:30pm - 4:00pm

Building mbed together: an overview of mbed OS and how to get involved - Presented by ARM

  • Hugo Vincent | mbed OS Product Lead, ARM Internet of Things
  • Paul Bakker | Product Strategy, ARM Internet of Things
  • Location: Ballroom D
  • Time: 4:30pm - 5:20pm

Introducing mbed 3.0 Thread Platform - Presented by NXP Semiconductors

  • Shashank Goel | Global Product Marketing Manager - Smart Home Solutions, NXP Semiconductors
  • Ian Morris | Pricipal Applications Engineer, NXP Semiconductors
  • Location: Ballroom C
  • Time: 4:30pm - 5:20pm

Thursday November 12

Learn to Develop Your Next IoT Project Using ARM mbed IoT Kit for Zatar

  • Valik Solorzano Barboza | Snr Director Engineering Zatar, Zebra Technologies
  • Santiago Romero | Product Owner, Zebra Technologies
  • Location: Ballroom F
  • Time: 10:30am - 11:20am

Good reads prior to ARM TechCon:

CUES Hackathon Wrap-Up

Last weekend the mbed team was at the CUES Hackathon, the first ever ARM mbed wearable hackathon.

With 100 participants from the University of Cambridge, CUES Hackathon was a great success. Over the course of 24 hours, teams of student build amazing projects. The participants were given a BLE Nano development board from RedBearLab which contains a Nordic Semiconductor nRF51822 SoC that enables Bluetooth® Low Energy (BLE) communication with mobile phones and other BLE devices.

Of all the projects, here are few that stood out.

First Prize winner: Rowbot-Personalised Rowing Advice They developed a miniature wireless device that attaches near the rower’s wrist and streams real-time acceleration data to a mobile phone.

The device can both analyze data by itself and give personalized advice, or can be used by the team coach to track the performance of the team.

We were impressed with the completeness of their solution. It looked like a product that can be on the market within a week despite being made in the last 24 hours.

/media/uploads/katiedmo/cues_hack_2015_image2.png Detailed description and their code can be found here.

Runner-Up: Internet Of Decks: Clothing containing LED Strips which beat in time to music

They developed clothing containing an embedded microcontroller and LED strips which beat in time to music. The LED Strips switch between many colours and flash in one of three patterns. A phone app is used to control when the device is on and which of the three patterns is used. Watch the video here.

We were impressed by the project’s commercial potential. The unique perspective of letting the DJ control your wearable can open up new markets.


Third Place: IoT Enabled Wearable SmartBin

They developed a Bluetooth Low Energy based Smart Bin, which measures the mass and volume of rubbish contained inside.

A companion smartphone app logs the data, renders beautiful graphs, and tweets passive-aggressively when the bin is full.

Although the team took a playful approach to their product and presentation, a connected rubbish bin can have serious social consequences in real life. If the bins in each home can report how full it is, city council can optimise its pick up routine to reduce fuel consumption and labour costs. If people can track how much rubbish they are producing and compare to their peers, they can be motivated to reduce their waste production.

A video demonstration of the mobile app can be found here.

More technical detail can be found here.


There are a lot more interesting projects at the event, if you are interested follow the links below:


For more pictures from the event, check out the Facebook event here.

Activity Round Up – Oct 2015: mbed Enabled applications open, Cannybots & new platforms!

It has been a while since we last did a round up. Needless to say we, have been a little busy and here are some of the recent highlights and activities.

mbed Enabled program applications open!

Earlier in the summer we announced the mbed Enabled™ program. Well it's here and applications are now open!


The mbed Enabled program is designed for mbed developers and partners who want to clearly identify their products as interoperable mbed Enabled technologies. This program allows mbed developers to focus their efforts on products that are compatible with the mbed development environment and interoperable with each other, and so reduce their time to market. It also gives further credibility to cloud services, silicon and OEM products in the Internet of Things (IoT) market by identifying them as standards-based.

How to apply?

We have divided the program and applications into two phases.

  • Phase 2: For any microcontroller, platform, component and end product using the mbed SDK, all the information you need can be found here:
    • Program overview and Technical requirements
    • Apply Here
  • Phase 3: For any target SoC, target module, board, component, cloud service and end product that utilizing mbed OS. At this time only Cloud Service applications are open, additional category applications will available soon.

Please ensure your product or service meets all the technical required before applying. Applications that do not meet the requirements will not be reviewed.

Learning to code with Cannybots

Cannybots is a 3D printed toy robot car that aims to make learning to program fun and interactive. The car was developed with a mbed Enabled Nordic NRF15822 BLE board and a bespoke utility for drag and drop over the air programing. Check out this video of the sequence in action. Their Kickstarter launch on September 29, 2015 and funded in one day!

mbed Zone at ARM TechCon


If you are planning to attend ARM TechCon or will be in Santa Clara, CA from Novemeber 10-12, stop by the ARM mbed Zone. Meet the lead engineers who are designing the mbed OS to find out how it accelerates your development. ARM’s cloud services teams will be at the technology bar showing how easy it is to connect edge devices to the cloud whether it’s for development or mass production. ARM will also be joined by over 20 partners from the mbed ecosystem who have deployed mbed Enabled products and services today.

New mbed Classic Platforms:

There are a handful of new platforms that have been released including one with the ARM Cortex™-M7 and others with connectivity ranging from Ethernet to BLE.

Scheduled Maintenance Thursday 6th August

To support the continuing growth of mbed storage upgrades will be performed on 6th of August starting at 0645 UTC (0745 BST, 1500 JST, 2300 Aug 5th PST)

developer.mbed.org will be unavailable from 0645 UTC, work is anticipated to be complete by 0900 UTC.

The growth of developer.mbed.org means we have outgrown our current storage infrastructure. Switching to new infrastructure will give us more storage and will simplify future growth. We recognise this will be an inconvenience to our users and hope you understand that this is necessary.

This maintenance was initially planned for the 4th but has been rescheduled.