IoT Competition Pushes Boundaries of Home IoT Automation

A few weeks ago, the Cayenne team announced a two-month contest to find the most creative IoT home automation projects. Since then, users have submitted dozens of creative projects using the digital dashboard, competing for the $200 grand prize when the contest ends on Halloween. The main goals of the contest are both to promote awareness of IoT automation using the Cayenne dashboard, and to push the platform to its limits, helping developers build an even more robust platform.

Projects submitted thus far have ranged in complexity and originality. Some beginner IoT users built temperature monitoring stations, while more advanced users applied their technical knowledge and tried new hardware on the platform, enabling projects like mobile GPS trackers, and remote-controlled LED strip lighting, and a vehicle collision early-warning system.

Cayenne IoT Automation Project Contest 8a
The “brains” behind user 0lab’s remote-controlled LED strip lighting project.

Benny, Cayenne’s Project Manager, monitors each project to ensure that it works and has applications that can be replicated. When asked which projects he found most creative, only with difficulty did he narrow his choices to two, and for very different reasons: first, the wireless ESP8266 temperature and humidity sensor, and secondly, a remote jukebox.

Cayenne IoT Automation Project Contest 5b
Adam set up his Cayenne dashboard to display temperature, humidity, and heat-index data from his wireless ESP8266 setup.

The wireless ESP8266 temperature and humidity sensor, made by long-time Cayenne user Adam, measures the temperature, humidity, and heat index, and runs on two AAA batteries. It “wakes” to take measurements and transmit data, and then goes back to sleep-mode. This project is unique in several ways: first, Adam was able to connect the ESP8266 board, which is not officially supported on the dashboard. This was welcome news to the team’s developers, who built the platform to be flexible and expandable in preparation for the API release. And secondly, Adam built his own low-power wireless device. Sending and receiving wireless data, be it through soil deep underground, or spanning long distances over the air, or through water, IoT sensor networks of the future will need to conserve power, track meaningful amounts of data, and transmit it reliably over the course of months and even years on the same batteries. Adam has tapped into an IoT space that Cayenne is pioneering with partner companies in the LoRa Alliance.

Cayenne IoT Automation Project Contest 5a
A bird’s-eye-view of Adam’s ESP8266 setup, which will run wirelessly using those 2 AAA batteries.

Another creative project is the Cayenne Remote Jukebox, by Kreggly, which plays music and sound files like any other music player, with features like play, pause, and skip, along with a few shortcuts to favorite sound files. With Cayenne’s automation tools however, this little music player has the potential to play a role in an IoT environment: using this low-cost setup, project builders can set a specific sound file to play when sensors detect a loud noise, like glass breaking, or when motion sensors detect movement, or they could simply schedule music to play at a specific time, as with many alarm clocks. While the applications of this project may not seem as complex as those of other projects submitted, Benny highlighted this one because it requires advanced knowledge of the dashboard and hardware, and because it is a unique idea among many submissions.

Cayenne IoT Automation Project Contest 7
One of the more creative project submissions was Kreggly’s Cayenne Remote Jukebox, which, combined with Cayenne’s dashboard tools, can be part of an IoT ecosystem in the home.

Though the contest has only been active for several weeks and has more time to go, users have demonstrated their innovation and technical prowess in building IoT projects that push the limits of their own automation skills, and those of the dashboard. Results from these projects have confirmed that Cayenne is both flexible enough to allow projects with third-party hardware like the LinkIt ONE or the NodeMCU, and also accessible, allowing beginner and advanced users to learn about IoT and develop their own skills.

Cayenne IoT Automation Project Contest 1b
Cayenne projects like this LinkIt ONE GPS tracker were a validation of the dashboard’s flexibility with hardware that is not fully supported.

Cayenne is a free drag-and-drop IoT project builder for Raspberry Pi and Arduino.
Sign up free at

Throughout October, Cayenne is offering a $50 award for every automation project submitted using Cayenne, and a $200 prize for the best project.
Submit your next project!


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