Coming back from the Award Trip to San Francisco, and the Twilio Signal Conference

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 05/25/2015 at 02:400 Comments

I got back from the Twilio Signal Conference in San Francisco, and it was a blast! The week before the Signal Conference, I was running around like a mad man getting the rest of the components I needed for version 2 of the device. And they all came in just in the nick of time. But I wasn't able to get it done before I flew out, so when I got to San Francisco, I crashed at a friend's place, and finally got the 2nd iteration of the prototype working in his kitchen, which you can see here.

They also had a hackathon carnavale event going on, where the stovetop sensor swept the stage prize. Apparently, they've never seen someone send a text with fire before.

But it was the Twilio Hackathon Carnavale, so the prizes weren't as, um, interesting as TechCrunch. They definitely were nothing like the TechCrunch Twilio prize of the free trip! Hey, I ain't complaining about the prizes! I wouldn't be in San Francisco if I didn't win at TechCrunch Disrupt's Hackathon with this!

"I went to San Francisco and won at the Twilio Ba$h Hackathon Carnavale and all I got was this lousy T-shirt..."

The Twilio Conference is definitely a must go if you do anything that involves telecommunications with your phone. The Internet of Things part was really small though. I'm predicting that it will get much much bigger. Still, the stand out seminar for me was using IBM's Watson AI API and php. I definitely can use IBM's Watson with some of the applications I have in mind with what I'm working on.

But the best part at the conference wasn't the hackathon, or the free trip to San Francisco. The best part was reuniting with an old friend again, who also grew up in Silicon Valley, and worked for numerous startups, as well as presented at TechCrunch during its earliest days in 2008 for one of the few female led startups. My Kung Fu brother from my University days, Sheldon.

Sheldon and I go way back. He's one of those undiscovered Internet Pioneers. He wrote one of the first white papers, Do Healthcare Providers Need the Internet?, about transforming medicine with the Internet, back in 1995-1996!

Anyway, Sheldon thoroughly grilled me regarding the device, my grand vision for the concept, and with the grilling, I was able to flesh out and hammer out a real plan. That plan, is the pitch video for the monitor device, which you can see here:

And the "How It Works" part of the plan, which you can see here. Because TechCrunch didn't allow more than 1 minute for the presentation, I obviously wasn't able to present more than just the essence of the device. But with free form video that's made concise and patterned like a pitch, we had a lot more time to make something more definitive and concise. It also shows a more refined prototype in action.

The next step after this is to refine the prototype for version 3, which is a lot more interactive with the Twilio API, with a working gas sensor, and the ability to talk to your phone (incoming from my Dad) off the internet, as well as mesh networking it with the nrf2401l+. I also want to get the ESP8266 module working instead of the CC3000 module for wifi, since it's a hell of a lot cheaper component wise.

And it's time for the business end of things, which means the pitch deck, the business plan, and the elevator pitch.