Texting to Victory at TechCrunch Disrupt

A couple of weekends ago, we stopped by TechCrunch Disrupt’s New York City Hackathon with our friends from Hackaday to see some of the cool hacks that the hardware teams were building. We had a lot of fun talking with different hackers, including David and Marcin, who were working on a monitoring device that could dispatch alerts if a stove had accidentally been left on. They decided to use Temboo’s Twilio Choreos to set up their alerts, and ended up walking away with the Twilio Prize—a free trip to San Francisco!

TechCrunch Hackathon

David was aiming to build something to give peace of mind to his elderly father, who often worries that the stove has been left on when he leaves the house. To save his father from having to turn back to check on things after leaving, David designed a device that would monitor the temperature of the stove to determine whether it was on or off. His father can text the device to inquire about the status of the stove, and the device will reply. David and Marcin also added an extra layer of automation to their application using a neural network: not only will it reply to texts, it is also able to sense whether an oven use pattern is irregular, and send out an alert if it is.

Stove monitor prototype

David and Marcin built their prize-winning device using a Teensy LC, an Adafruit CC3000 Wifi breakout board, and a DHT11 temperature sensor. You can see their musical demonstration of the descriptively-named “Stove Top Sensor for Paranoid, Stubborn Older Parents” in action here!