Wirelessly mesh-networked snowmen - Embedded.com

Wirelessly mesh-networked snowmen


Well, shortly after I posted my column on the Wireless Mesh Networked “Hello There!” Badges that are destined to be the “Must Have” at the forthcoming Embedded Systems Conference (ESC) in Boston, I ended up chatting on the phone with my chums over at Synapse Wireless.

Although the concept of the “Hello There!” badges originated with yours truly, when it comes to implementing low-power wireless mesh networks, the guys and gals at Synapse are my first port of call. Can you imagine our original discussions? I bet you're thinking they went something like the following:

Max: I've got a great idea!

Synapse: Oh no, here we go again!

Actually, now I come to think about it, this is pretty much the way this project did start. Oh well, “To know me is to love me,” as I always say (strangely enough, it's always me that ends up saying this).

Anyway, during our conversation we happened to touch on the fact that we'd had a snow storm a few days ago. Of course, when I say “snow storm,” this is nothing like the events currently being experienced by the folks in the Northeastern United States. In our case, we're only talking about an inch or so of snow, and that's in the deep drifts, but it's a snow storm to us here in Alabama.

So, what do the folks at Synapse do when it snows? They “SNAPify Snowmen” — that's what. (This might make more sense if you know that their low-power wireless mesh technology is called SNAP.) Below we see one of these snowman sporting a cheery smile in the form of one of our prototype “Hello There!” badges. I'm scared to think what all of the other snowmen were doing.

(Source: Synapse Wireless)

To be honest, I'm a bit surprised this worked. I would have thought the snow would have shorted everything out. All I can say is that it's a tribute to good old American engineering.

Apparently, this is just one of the things the folks at Synapse did with the badges while pretending to be snowed in. And you thought I was strange…

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