Won the Top Twilio Prize at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC 2015

A project log for An IOT Device That Tells Dad the Stove is Off.

An Internet of Things Device to Let My Aging, Disabled Father Know that the Stove is Off, and Ease His Paranoia...

Dave NghiemDave Nghiem 05/04/2015 at 14:571 Comment

OK, now that was a surprise. I went up to the TechCrunch NYC Disrupt 2015 this weekend largely to see what a Hackathon is, and to show a bunch of software/app types what hardcore hardware hackers can do, and to meet the Hackaday folks for the first time.

And for $#its and giggles.

Mainly for $#its and giggles.

I've done something similar to a hackathon, which are the Demoscene parties way, WAY back in the day, as in the 1990's day, where a bunch of coders would get together for a weekend of demoscene coding and competition. That was graphics, music, and art, with a ton of gaming. Back then, I used to go to Montreal for NAID (1996), and I was a digital artist. Given that Wikipedia lists the first hackathons as occurring in 1999, which I would dispute heavily, given that the demoscene has had hackathons for far longer than 1999, I guess you could say I'm the hipster of hackathons.

In fact, you can see my artwork back in the day in this video. It's the first that comes up, a kung fu practitioner on the screen. I was part of a group from Boston University, Miracle.

Anyway, cut to today, I'm a hardware hacker.

I met marcino239,, who helped me with some of the code for interfacing with the internet. Marcino239 is a great guy and very sharp on microcontrollers. He's also an expert with artificial neural networks, and after a few hours messing around with first the 8 bit Arduino, when we saw the memory was too small, we went with a teensy LC, we got the thing working.

And we ended walking away with the top Twilio prize for a round trip all expense paid trip to San Francisco for Twilio's Signal conference. And it was the only travel related prize in the contest.

WTF happened?!

Oh, and the stove top sensor got its foundations.

Here's the video of the presentation.

Stove Top Sensor for Paranoid, Stubborn Older Parents


I used to be a Science teacher for grades 4-8th at a place called Nature's Classroom and being on the stage and entertaining kids, teachers, and parents was a rush that I absolutely loved. Next time I do this, I'm wearing my Lucha Libre mask.

And I met Ken,, another great hackaday guy. He took pictures of the event, which you can see here.

Disrupt 2015

Meeting Mike, Bill, Sophi, Jasmine, Amur, and the rest of the Hackaday gang was a blast too! And Kenji,, brought the hardware beat down with his amazing mobile electronics lab!


You can see some video of our midnight antics here. Yes, the moment the TechCrunch host talked smack about New Jersey (My State!, though I was born in Philly), I had to give him a proverbial crude sign.

Midnight Hacking at Disrupt NYC 2015

I also got word from @Mike Szczys that my device cleared the first hurdle in the Hackaday 2015 competition to get rewarded a PCB manufacturing prize! Next up, manufacturing the first sets of prototypes! Mainly because my Dad is now demanding I set it up for him after seeing the video.

Yep. No rest for the weary. The primary reason for this device is ever present...


j0z0r pwn4tr0n wrote 05/04/2015 at 18:45 point

I saw this on the blog and thought it looked familiar. Congratulations! Way to show those software-only nerds what it's all about, lol. It is a great idea though, and I'm glad you got to get it that much closer to execution. 

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