Info-tech

Soon, water your garden with a tweet

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on June 12, 2015

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Cisco sets up geek playground ‘ThingQbator’ to innovate devices in IoT space





They are young, zesty and more than willing to work through the night to come up with the next big invention.

Young engineers at Cisco have found ways to water their potted plants at home via tweets, created a remote-controlled quadcopter (helicopter with four wings) that can potentially monitor traffic, designed an intelligent shopping cart that checks itself out, and more.

To encourage its engineers, networking major Cisco set up the perfect geek playground at its Bengaluru campus last month — an internal incubator christened ‘ThingQbator’, which has technologies required for innovating in the Internet of Things space.

ThingQbator takes in 30 engineers, who team up in twos and threes and work on innovations close to their heart in a highly failure-tolerant environment after their regular hours at work.

“We dislike being disturbed while watching TV, to go and switch on the lights, air conditioner or any other appliance. So we decided to do something that will let us switch off an appliance right from where we are seated watching TV,” said Cisco engineer Anandghan, who along with Joyson used technology to convert a post-it note into a switch. The youngsters did this by enabling the post-it with an RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tag/button and RFID reader and writing the name of the device/appliance they want to control on the note. “Now, you can stick the post-it on your sofa armrest or wall near you, and press the RFID button on it to switch the device off,” Joyson said.

Tapping developers

Stating that fast innovation is key to its success, Chandrashekhar Raman, Manager, IoT Innovation Strategy, Cisco Systems India, said: “While we look outwards to create a developer ecosystem, we are also looking to tap into our internal developer community as a rich source of ideas and innovation. ThingQbator is a maker’s space where our engineers are encouraged to transform ideas into tangible prototypes in 30 days.”

Published on June 12, 2015
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