Smart Diapers and Sleep Tight take top two places at sensors show hackathon

Parents of infants and toddlers may soon feel a little less anxious about their kids’ well-being after two Anaren Atmosphere-inspired engineering teams designed wearable wireless monitoring systems to measure a child’s temperature, diaper (nappy) condition, and sleep pattern.

The Anaren teams were participants of the 2016 Sensor Expo’s Design Challenge held last week in San Jose, California. The Design Challenge, sometimes referred to as a “hackathon,” groups budding engineers into small teams and challenges them to invent wireless (embedded) sensor-reading devices within in a specified time frame – in this case, in less than 24 hours. This year’s challenge had three sponsors: Anaren, Cypress PSOC, and STMicroelectronics. Each sponsor provided development platforms and kits from which teams could choose.

The winning team designed a Smart Diaper, a reusable wearable device for humidity and temperature sensing that combined its hardware with a versatile mobile application to alert parents with beeps, texts, and vibrations when a diaper needs changing or a when a child’s temperature falls outside of preset limits, indicating a possible health concern.

The team chose to prototype the Smart Diaper using Anaren’s multi-sensor development board (which itself is built upon Broadcom’s IoT WICED SDK), the STMicroelectronics expansion board, and Anaren’s web-based Atmosphere development platform.

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Engineering student, Feng Wang, displaying the Anaren board and winning Smart Diaper app

Feng Wang, an engineering student at Sonoma State University was part of the first place team. “After we tried out three different kinds of [development] boards, we chose Anaren’s solution. Not only does it have a very unique way of building out an idea, it’s also very easy to use,” said Wang. “It’ was easy to connect our project to the mobile app and didn’t require a lot of background coding knowledge,” added Wang.

The team taking second place also chose to address infants with a unique design they named “Sleep Tight,” a wearable that uses ambient temperature measurement, along with an acceleration sensor to track restlessness or sleep quality relative to temperature and humidity. Along with Sleep Tight the team added a niche “baby kick” monitor which uses a piezo sensor to track baby kicks (in utero) to help monitor a baby’s health.

“We are always delighted when new and useful applications are dreamed up and turned quickly into working prototypes. Our philosophy of think, build, and connect was demonstrated brilliantly by these talented Design Challenge teams,” said Mark Bowyer, director of business development, Anaren Wireless Connectivity.

“When designers build formidable and practical products and applications using our products and tools in record time, it shows that the exponential growth to a comprehensive internet of things is on solid ground,” added Bowyer.

“Broadcom’s IoT Group has been a partner with Anaren with the AIR for WICED product family for a long time and we shared the booth at the Sensors Expo to underscore that relationship,” said Stephen DiFranco, VP & GM of IoT, Broadcom, Ltd. “To see two hackathon teams take top prizes with products that contain Broadcom connectivity is extremely gratifying and we join Anaren in congratulating these fine engineers,” DiFranco added.

A brief video interview with Wang and the first place winning team can be viewed at http://bit.ly/298b78b

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