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Hackster AWS IoT Mega Contest

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The AWS IoT Mega Contest (brought to you by AWS and the great team at Hackster) has been extended until January 31, 2016. We already have over 850 participants, nearly 300 project ideas, and 45 projects, but there’s still time (and room) for more.

As the name suggests, we’re looking for Internet of Things projects that make use of the new AWS IoT Core service.

Everyone who posts a completed project receives $880 worth of goodies including AWS credits, a month of AWS Support, AWS Technical Professional Training, $80 of credit for Self-Paced Labs.

The first 50 projects receive $100 in cash.

The top 10 projects (based on documentation, creativity, and practicality) will win prizes that include an Amazon Kindle Fire HD, Amazon Echo devices, and the Amazon Fire TV Gaming Edition.

Getting Started
If you were lucky enough to pick up an AWS IoT Button at AWS re:Invent, you can use it as part of your project. If not, you can purchase an AWS IoT Starter Kit from one of our partners or use an Arduino, Raspberry Pi, UDOO, Teensy, or FRDM that you already own.

Now you can build your project based on one of the project ideas. Take good notes as you build it, and be sure that your submission includes high-quality images, clear instructions, a bill of materials, schematics, source code, and CAD files, as appropriate.

Some Cool Ideas
The existing participants have generated hundreds of really cool ideas. As you can see, this is not simply technology for technology’s sake. Instead, people are using AWS to solve problems that are personal and meaningful to them. They are thinking about ways to create a better, healthier environment, focusing on personal safety, and agriculture. In the best Maker fashion, people are scratching their own itch, in ways that will improve life for them, their families, and their neighbor!

Here are some of our favorite ideas:

Allergen Levels Sensory Network by Kevin Kingsbury – Create a network of air quality sensor to monitor pollen, pollution and mold in cities everywhere, processing location and data in real time.

IoT Radiation Monitor by David Fowler – IoT enabled Geiger Counter small enough to be carried in a pocket or mounted to a vehicle and used to monitors radiation levels. The device will collect data and report radiation counts with position and time stamps.

IFTTT Anything with the AWS IoT Button by Drew Alend – Trigger any IFTTT action with a click of the AWS IoT Button. If clicked than that!

Computer Control with AWS ioT by Alex Merchen – Turn your computer BEFORE you come to work with a simple AWS IoT Button push, and save yourself time wasted on reboot and updates.

Hello & Good Night! by Dave Mathews – The smart home has been a dream of geeks since the lightbulb was created. Now, with dozens of apps in the stores controlling vastly different “so called smart” hardware interfaces, you can have a puzzle of connectivity.  We are going to take the AWS IoT button and turn it into a one-touch off button for ALL of our smart home services – Hue, Wemo and Sonos.  The key here is that we will not need another smart home controller, but leverage the power of the AWS Cloud and software APIs for the devices!

Monitoring Food/Water Intake for Dementia Patients by Leigh Carpenter – Caring for patients suffering from dementia who don’t to keep up with consistent eating and drinking habits which hey often neglect.

Some Cool Projects
Here are some projects that have been developed around the ideas:

AWS IoT Button and Sonos by Paul Wakeford – Use the AWS IoT Button to control a Sonos music system.

Summon Uber with the new AWS IoT Dash Button – Press the button and watch for the Uber App on your phone.

AWS IoT Button for LIFX  by Daniel Porrey – Use the AWS IoT Button to control a LIFX light bulb with immediacy and efficiency.

One Button Click Artificial Intelligence Based Home Monitor by Geeve George – Build a voice assistant for home security and  monitoring while while you’re away.

Magic Mirror – Use Amazon Echo to run an image search on the web.

Real Time Crop Monitoring by Sarthak Sethi – Help farmers monitor the health of crops by tapping data and sensors, across seasons and geographies.

Some Resources
Here are some great tutorials to get you started with AWS IoT:

20 Days To Go
With just 20 days to go, you’ll have to hustle if you plan to create and submit a project. Go for it! Be sure to read the FAQ and the official rules (scroll down).


Modified 2/1/2021 – In an effort to ensure a great experience, expired links in this post have been updated or removed from the original post.
Jeff Barr

Jeff Barr

Jeff Barr is Chief Evangelist for AWS. He started this blog in 2004 and has been writing posts just about non-stop ever since.