A long time ago (January 2014) at a Consumer Electronics Show far, far away (unless you live in Las Vegas), Intel unveiled their Edison “computer-on-module” development board aimed at wearables and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. A mashup of an Arduino and Raspberry Pi, with a dash of WiFi, Bluetooth, and a 4GB of flash memory compressed into a package just a little larger than an SD card, the Edison has proven to be a formidable embedded platform. In the months since the world got their hands on the Edison boards, a lot of amazing projects have emerged. We’ll take a look at four Edison-based creations that have captured our imaginations.
Figure 1: The Mimo Baby Monitor leverages the Edison's built-in Bluetooth Low Energy. Image Courtesy: Mimo Baby
Mimo Baby Monitor: One of the first commercially available products, the Mimo Baby Monitor captured the attention of geeky and non-geeky parents alike. The Mimo attaches to a (hopefully) sleeping baby’s’ clothing so it can monitor breathing, temperature, movement, and body position. It collects all this data and transmits it via Bluetooth Low Energy.
Figure 2: Edison-powered Old School Radarscope is an Open Source Hardware project. Photo credit: Lucas Macedo https://www.instructables.com/id/Radar-Intel-Edison Released under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0
Ultrasonic Radar: The ultrasonic radar is an open source hardware project that exudes an arguably nerdy-type of coolness. Leveraging the Edison, a servo, and an ultrasonic rangefinder in conjunction with the popular Processing data visualization development environment, the project turns your computer into a working, old school radarscope.
Figure 3: Intel-powered Hard Hat as proof of what's possible with the Edison. Intel Hard Hat: Image: DAQRI
Smart Hard Hat: A proof-of-concept that Intel itself worked on, the Smart Construction Helmet demonstrates the very practical use of the Edison technology. Embedding sensors and the Edison platform into a traditional hard hat allows for even greater safety as well as health monitoring of construction workers. The prototype device contains sensors to sniff out various toxic gases as well as an accelerometer to determine when a worker gets hit in the head.
Figure 4: Technology and art meet in the Edison powered "Synapse” dress. Photo credit: Jason Perry https://iq.intel.com/gaming-plays-role-in-designing-interactive-wearables/
Anouk Wipprecht Mood Dress: Lastly, to prove that when it comes to technology and fashion we have only scratched the surface of wearables, look no further than the Synapse dress from Dutch designer Anouk Wipprecht. The 3D printed ensemble incorporates the Edison along with a suite of external and internally facing sensors. One of the unique features of the garment is a “personal space intrusion detection” function. When a would-be space invader starts to get a little too close the dress will emit 120W worth of photons to not-so-discreetly tell the intruder to back off.
Time to share your thoughts and ideas… have you seen any projects using the Intel Edison that would give these projects a run for their money? Or are you working on something cool that uses the Edison for its brains? Let us know down below in the comments section.
Michael Parks, P.E. is the owner of Green Shoe Garage, a custom electronics design studio and technology consultancy located in Southern Maryland. He produces the S.T.E.A.M. Power podcast to help raise public awareness of technical and scientific matters. Michael is also a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Maryland and holds a Master’s degree in systems engineering from Johns Hopkins University.
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