Christmas in February: Cayenne Wins 3x in Arduino’s Internet of Holiday Things Contest

Long-running Arduino + Hackster holiday contest celebrates the new MKR1000 board


2017-3 Arduino Holiday Contest Main Image on myDevices Cayenne IoT Site 2


To boost their new MKR1000 board, Arduino teamed up with DIY maker hub, Hackster, to host a three-month global contest in search for the most creative Christmas-themed home IoT projects. Contest winners, three of whom are Cayenne users, were announced in late February. The Arduino MKR1000 combines the functionalities of the Arduino Zero and WiFi Shield, turning the tiny, open-source PCB board into an Internet-ready IoT device. When the contest was announced in late 2016, myDevices promoted the project among users of its Cayenne project builder to generate excitement for the new hardware.


Winning in the fifth category were Cayenne users Neoxelox and Ian Zahn. Those selected for this category won a free MKR1000 from the Arduino Store. Neoxelox’s project was a “hackable” Christmas greeting card that used Cayenne’s dashboard with an Arduino to control lights and play holiday music from the card. Neoxelox took advantage of the dashboard’s scheduling function to make the card double as an alarm clock–just in case the recipient would want to wake up daily to midi tunes of Christmas music. This creative project comes with a full set of instructions and a YouTube video demo.


Hackable Christmas Card Winner on Arduino Internet of Things Contest myDevices Cayenne IoT
Neoxelox’s contest entry allowed the users to build a customizable holiday card using Cayenne to choose which song and lights to activate.


Ian’s contest entry, like other projects he has posted in Cayenne’s Community forum, sought to use IoT to solve a recurring household problem. Ian knew that checking the water level of his live Christmas tree is a tedious and often painful process of digging through prickly pine needles. The daily chore is as painful as it is necessary: not knowing the water level in the basin could lead to a wet mess on the floor if overwatered, and a dead and flammable tree if underwatered. Setting up a Christmas tree water level monitor, Ian connected a water sensor with his Arduino MKR1000, and connected it to Cayenne, which would activate a specifically-colored LED and send an SMS alert to indicate water level. Ian also won a free MKR1000 from the Arduino Store.


Christmas Tree Water Automation Monitor Winner on Arduino Internet of Things Contest myDevices Cayenne IoT
Ian’s Christmas tree water monitor sends visual and SMS alerts to indicate water level, which allows him to avoid crawling under the prickly branches daily to check water level.


Cayenne’s own team member, Benny Estes, entered his Christmas “IoTree” project and fared even better, placing in the fourth category of winners and earning both a free MKR1000 board and a $50 gift certificate to the Arduino Store. An Arduino disguised as an ornament in his tree turned lights on and off at dusk and dawn and sent SMS and LED notifications when motion was detected close to the tree–just in case anyone took a secret peek at some presents. Benny posted instructions to his project in the Cayenne Community, along with a YouTube overview of his IoTree.


Christmas IoTree Winner on Arduino Internet of Things Contest myDevices Cayenne IoT
Cayenne’s own Benny Estes built an MKR1000-powered Christmas IoTree, complete with automatic lights and motion alerts in case anyone takes a sneak peek at presents!


The contest offered some great publicity for Arduino and Hackster, and the myDevices team is proud that the Cayenne IoT community was so well represented. Each project was creative and made use of the low-cost, powerful development board, and was an opportunity to celebrate the holiday season with some real IoT automation.



Cayenne & Arduino Announce Home Automation Contest

Excited about home automation? Arduino and Cayenne have teamed up to host a home automation contest! Use Cayenne and Arduino to build your own home automation projects and enter for your chance to win an all-expenses-paid trip to Maker Faire Bay Area 2017! Prizes total several thousand dollars, and the contest is open to IoT enthusiasts around the world. In addition to the grand prize, 19 other winners earn cash prizes and free Arduino LoRa node shields.


Sign up for Cayenne for Free! | Learn more about the Home Automation Contest

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