Challenging design engineers from all industries to use their imaginations in readying a machine or device for wireless networking, Lantronix has kicked off its second annual Wireless Design Contest.
The hook for Lantronix (Irvine, Calif.) is that entries must be based around the Lantronix WiPort 802.11 wireless device. Winners will be announced at next year's Embedded Systems Conference, slated for April 3-7 in San Jose, Calif.
The Lantronix WiPort module is said to enable OEMs to build secure 802.11b/g wireless capabilities quickly and easily into virtually any electronic device with a serial or Ethernet port. The RoHS-compliant module provides a real-time operating system, full-featured network protocol stack and ready-to-use serial-to-wireless or Ethernet-to-wireless application. The product also includes a built-in Web server for remote device communications and a Web manager for configuration via a standard Web browser, enabling a connected device to be managed from anywhere in the world, according to Lantronix.
To qualify for the nearly $20,000 in prizes, contestants must register their product on the Lantronix Web site and submit a working prototype board design, complete with a documented summary of the project and its operation. All entries must be received on or before March 1, 2007. First place will receive $6,000, second place $4,000 and third place $2,000. Additional awards will be given for the best entry from a student or educational institute, for the one using the lowest power and for the entry using an 802.11b/g and Ethernet swappable combination.
Last year's competition drew several hundred entries. The designs ranged from a pool-monitoring system to a computer-enabled Roomba vacuum cleaner, said Chris Preston, senior vice president of marketing for Lantronix. The top prize went to Keith Emery of D&K Engineering for his eLawn programmable sprinkler controller, which automatically controls the watering schedule, based on environmental conditions, from virtually any computer, anywhere.
Contest entries will be judged on technical merit, originality, business value, cost-effectiveness and design optimization, according to Lantronix. For the full list of contest rules and the online entry form, go to www.lantronix.com/info/ wireless contest/ rules.html.
To find a list of last year's contest winners and see photos of some of last year's concepts, go to www.lantronix.com/ info/wireless contest/wdc-winners.html.