Tag Archives: real-time

VIPER is a cross-platform Python IoT design suite


VIPER is a smart object development suite that brings cloud and IoT connectivity to your projects with just a click of the mouse.


New York City-based startup ThingsOnInternet has launched a Kickstarter campaign for their new easy-to-use development suite for interactive Internet of Things (IoT) designs. As its name implies, VIPER — or “Viper Is Python Embedded in Real-time” — makes it possible for Makers and embedded designers to create their next connected project in Python for Arduino, UDOO and Spark, all in in real-time. And, unlike other solutions that already exist today, this collection of products is platform-agnostic and compatible with all sensors and kits.

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The idea was first conceived after conducting some detailed market analysis, where the company discovered that designers, Makers and programmers all faced a similar set of challenges. In hopes of simplifying how “things” are brought onto the Internet, VIPER converged a series of components to better streamline the process. This included an IDE to manage and program the boards, a Virtual Machine to serve as its operating system, a plug-and-play TOI Shield, an extensive library of ready-to-use functions, and a mobile app to act as the interface for smart objects. On top of that, it’s also cloud-ready. With just a little coding, users can develop a wide-range of IoT applications, ranging from interactive storefronts, to home and industrial automation systems, to art and museum installations, to smart farming.

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“Designers aim to create behaviors that can co-exist at the same time and they are often frustrated by ‘anomalous’ and unexpected results on their projects. Makers, who have higher competences, invest a lot of time in understanding how to code multithreaded behaviors, how to manage interrupts in C++, etc. and sometimes their code become really hard to be maintained. Programmers are frustrated by executing ‘boring’ tasks for their customers, one of them is related (again) to multithread, interrupts, callbacks, timers and exceptions,” ThingsOnInternet writes.

Since millions of developers already know Python, VIPER decided to make the programming language readily accessible for commercial interactive products as well, therefore amplifying the potential for smart objects to be as pervasive as mobile devices in their ease of design interactivity. To do this, VIPER provides a browser-based, minimal-installation development environment where users can write code with extensive library support and have it executed on any Arduino-like board. What’s great for designers is that, with VIPER, it leaves them able to focus on the features and functionality, not the tediousness, along with a mobile app to control their creation for free.

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“Devices like Arduino, UDOO, ST Nucleo, Spark Core, Photon and the last released Spark Electron are microcontroller boards that revolutionized the world of amateur and semiprofessional electronics. They allowed hundreds of thousands of people around the world to give objects a new life by making them interactive, able to communicate and interact with humans,” the team explains. “Unfortunately, programming them is quite easy for engineers and computer scientists, while most of the users are able to exploit only part of the huge potential of such incredible boards. Here comes the idea of TOI to extend the world of smart and interactive object design to everyone. VIPER allows in a few clicks to convert a common lamp in a smart assistant that reminds us to take the umbrella, turn on the air conditioning while monitoring the house for intrusions.”

In order to use the suite, Makers and developers simply download a one-time package from the company’s website onto either their PC or USB stick. Beyond that, VIPER includes an embedded, portable Python 3.0 engine to help make everything as easy as can be. Users can then launch the VIPER IDE and begin making. All that’s left from there is connecting its accompanying mobile app to serve as the UI for the project.

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VIPER runs on an Arduino Due (SAM3X8E), and can even be ported onto the recently-revealed Atmel | SMART Cortex-M7 family. As its creators reveal, code developed on an Arduino Due can also be implemented onto these new MCUs in a matter of two clicks. Furthermore, the suite features an Arduino and Spark Proton-compatible, plug-and-play TOI shield. Simply attach either a Due or Photon to the shield and start playing with any of the VIPER examples found in its library. (This collection of modules includes CC3000 Wi-Fi for Spark Core and Adafruit Shield, Adafruit/Sparkfun Thermal Printer, Adafruit NeoPixel LED, RTTTL smart melody player, Streams library, as well as TCP and UDP network protocols.) Aux ports are even included, enabling the use of other sensors like Grove, ThinkerKit, Phidgets, and Adafruit NeoPixel LED strips.

Through its IDE, users can ‘viperize’ theirs boards by installing them using the VIPER Virtual Machine. Once completed, a board is no longer a simple Arduino Due, Spark Photon or UDOO; instead, it has a multi-threaded, real-time operating system running on it, and a virtual machine ready to execute compiled Python 3 scripts. Ready to design your next smart project? You can head over to its official website, or check out the team’s recent successfully-funded Kickstarter campaign here.

Striker is a real-time wearable cadence tracker

The Manifold crew has designed an open source hardware platform capable of tracking real-time running cadence.

Dubbed “Striker,” the prototype boasts both an Atmel powered wristwatch as well as an Atmel based footpod.

More specifically, key wristwatch specs include:

  • Sparkfun Pro Micro (ATmega32U4 MCU)
  • 850mAh lithium ion battery
  • Power cell (Lipo Charger/Booster)
  • SPDT mini power switch
  • Monochrome 128×32 SPI OLED graphic display
  • 
XBee 2mW PCB Antenna (Series 2)

Key footpod specs?

  • Fio v3 (ATmega32U4 MCU)
  • 110mAh lithium ion battery
  • 
Force sensitive resistor
  • Terminal block (2-pin 3.5mm)
  • XBee 2mW PCB antenna (series 2)

“Striker will remain in the lab for now, but hopefully something like this will become more readily available for runners everywhere,” a Manifold rep by the name of Chad explained.

“As far as a custom solution goes, rather than inventing a watch to receive and display the cadence data it would actually make more sense to build an app for an existing watch platform. Then all you need is a footpod capable of detecting foot strikes and sending the data along using a communication protocol that the watch platform can speak like Bluetooth.”

Interested in learning more about Striker? You can scoot on out the project’s official page, along with the relevant code (Arduino + 3D models) and Fritzing breadboard sketches here.

 

Levi’s Stadium is the new ‘smart home’ of 49ers

September 14th not only marked the first regular season home game for the San Francisco 49ers, but ushered in a new era of smart, constantly-connected sports stadiums as well.

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Located just minutes down the road from Atmel headquarters in Santa Clara, California, Levi’s Stadium is the brand-spanking-new home to the Bay Area’s beloved NFL team. Built at a cost of more than $1.2 billion, the recently-opened venue boasts a number of high-tech that would make any geek cheer. For starters, there are 680 free Wi-Fi access points distributed around the stadium (which is nearly one access point for every hundred fans) as well as 12,000 Ethernet ports, all supported by a supersonic 40-Gbps fiber optic connection that delivers broadband speeds 40 times faster than any other stadium.

According to TIME Magazine, this is all possible due to nearly 400 miles of cabling running throughout the structure. In addition, there are almost 1,200 Wi-Fi antennas located throughout the outdoor arena that boost the wireless signal every 100 seats or so. Another cutting-edge feature of the stadium is a collection of about 1,700 beacons, which can be used to know the whereabouts of spectators and provide them with useful, targeted information.

In a recent Broncos pre-season game, the new stadium had 20,000 concurrrent Wi-Fi users, with a peak data usage of over 2 gigabits a second. For three hours, the average was above 1 gigabit per second in terms of usage, VentureBeat reports.

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Much like the debut of the Botlr robot, the location of Levi’s Stadium deep within Silicon Valley likely helps enhance the building’s tech credentials. According to TIME, Sony has been a major contributor to the new stadium, contributing over 2,000 TVs, including 70 high-tech 4K units. Some of these flashier features will be obvious to fans, including the two giant scoreboards and 108-inch screen in one of the stadium’s restaurants. However, much of the technology will be hidden from view in a state-of-the-art computer network that would make many a tech startup jealous.

“This is truly a one-of-a-kind fan experience, with the world’s greatest showcase of 4K technology from the best of Sony’s professional and consumer products. For every event, every fan will be immersed in the pinnacle of entertainment and technology to enhance their experience,” Sony COO Mike Fasulo explains.

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Additionally, SAP has sponsored a bunch of touchscreen kiosks throughout the venue where fans can partake in 49ers trivia. Using club data housed within the SAP database, fans can tap into three categories (stadium facts, franchise legends and current team) to see how well their team IQ stacks up against other die-hards.

Befitting of a team deep in the heart of Silicon Valley, a true catalyst to changing the stadium experience for the average fan will be the stadium’s smartphone app. The app will allow fans to order food from their seat, which can either be delivered or picked up at an express area. It can provide a live telecast of the game along with up to four on-screen replays and live statistics. Most importantly, it can point you in the direction of the bathroom with the shortest line so that you don’t miss out on any of the action.

“When we talk about tech, we never want to take away from the hero feature, the 11 guys down on the field,” said Al Guido, COO of the 49ers. “Tech has to be ancillary to what is happening on the field. We didn’t want people staring at their phones and not making noise. We need a home field advantage. What we can do is build the infrastructure and tech to enhance the experience.”

Earlier this year during DesignCon, our Tech on Tour mobile trailer made a special stop outside of the 49ers 'smart home.'

Earlier this year during DesignCon, our Tech on Tour mobile trailer made a special stop outside of the 49ers ‘smart home.’

A new era of smart stadiums is just dawning, but as fans begin to utilize the new technology and connect during games, there will certainly be new trends and capabilities that develop. As the Internet of Things continues to emerge, it is without question that connected technologies will make the live sporting experience even more enjoyable.

In correlation with these stadiums becoming smarter and more connected, interactive audience participation apps are being increasingly adopted for live, in-stadium events. Because stadiums have built out robust networks to connect their audience, developers have the opportunity to build applications to enable audience members to engage and interact with the game and one another.

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According to PubNub, real-time technology has become the stimulus for interactive audience participation apps, enabling developers to deliver data in real-time, whether it be chat messages, statistics, polls, or advertisements. Real-time data streams in a connected stadium is changing the way we view live events. And, with the PubNub Data Stream Network, you can send and receive messages in under a 1/4 second, while adding a plethora of other real-time features to your in-stadium application.