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Winning WICED™ Intern Hacks Use Sensor Data in New Ways | Cypress Semiconductor

Winning WICED™ Intern Hacks Use Sensor Data in New Ways

You might not expect college students to be concerned about the effects of physical therapy and other health care issues, especially when they’re tinkering with cutting-edge technology. But that’s exactly where a group of Broadcom summer interns placed their focus during a company-wide hackathon that involved Broadcom’s WICED Sense™ development kit.


Team “WICED Mouse” hackathon first place winners for Bay Area

The two winning intern groups, who took home the top prizes from the event, used sensor data from several of the development kits to show how low-cost, low-power wireless connectivity technology can solve big problems. Southern California winner “Team Westeros” used WICED Sense to aid in a patient’s recovery after an injury, surgery or illness. Bay Area winner “Team WICED Mouse”used the technology to build a more intuitive, gesture-controlled, mouse.

“Team Westeros” talked about the disconnect that can occur when a physician prescribes physical therapy to a patient. Often, patients are given a set number of in-person sessions with a therapist, and then a schedule of self-paced strengthening and stretching exercises to continue on their own.

Doctors will often prescribe that patients perform the exercises “with caution and care” – but with no direct supervision, there’s potentially a lot of room for error. There’s also very little follow-up care from the physician who prescribed the therapy.

“What if you assume you are doing the exercises correctly, but you aren’t?” intern Prem Swaroop Kadavakuduru asked.

The interns created an Android application that parses the sensor data gathered by the WICED Sense tag, and then uploaded that motion-tracking data, its frequency and other key metrics, to the cloud. That’s where a physician can download reports about the patient and see if the therapy is helping, or hindering, the healing process.


Team Westeros demonstrates their project with the WICED Sense devkit.

“Since WICED Sense is very portable, it’s ideal for tracking movements,” Kadavakuduru said. “It can push motion-tracking data to the cloud, where a doctor can monitor, download and analyze it.”

The WICED Sense development kit is a small hang-tag device that’s loaded with MEMS sensors, including a gyroscope, an accelerometer, a compass and sensors for pressure, temperature and humidity.

Sensors and portability also played into Broadcom’s northern California hackathon winners, Karthik Shanmugam and Zee (Zhongxia) Yan, who created and demonstrated the “WICED Mouse.”

The mouse enables users to use gestures to navigate on a PC screen and control the left and right-click functions via a magnet attached to his or her thumb. So, when you tilt the mouse to the left or right, the cursor moves accordingly. Or, when you swiped left or right, it registers on the WICED Sense’s accelerometer and magnetometer as a click. Unlike a traditional mouse, it doesn’t require a flat surface to operate. It also has a much longer range because it’s Bluetooth-enabled.

The team’s WICED Mouse was “a real-life application which was highly technical and fully functional,” said Greg Gangitano, field application engineering manager at Broadcom, who was a judge at the Northern California hackathon.

All of the entries were judged by a panel of senior engineers at Broadcom, who determined that the both the “WICED Mouse” and the “Physiotherapy Assistant” were winning uses of the WICED™ platform and had the potential to be game-changers for consumers.

First-place awards went to Team Westeros, from Broadcom’s San Diego office, which was comprised of Kadavakuduru, Colin Wee, Tianyi Yang and Xiaoyu (Ben) Ye. The WICED Mouse team, made up of Zee (Zhongxia) Yan and Karthik Shanmugam,  also took home first place at the Bay Area hackathon.  The top prize was an Asus smartwatch (and lots of bragging rights).

Second-place winners from Irvine included Arthur Valadares, Justin Chen, Azim Muqtadir and Jagadish Vakati, who snagged GoPro Hero cameras for their use of the WICED Sense and Raspberry Pi to automate home appliances via electrical outlets. They envisioned the WICED Sense as a portable “companion device” to activate plugged-in home appliances with Bluetooth, gestural and proximity-based controls.

Alice George Thomas, Mingxuan Han and Pradeep Bosco — “Team Phoenix” — earned second place prizes in the Bay Area for creating a sensor-driven monitoring system which captures the open and close positions of any door and sends a status alert via smartphone.

The Broadcom WICED SenseDevelopment Kit is currently available through Broadcom’s network of distribution partners for $19.99. The WICED Sense application is currently available for free download on the App Store here and Google Play Store here. Visit Broadcom’s website to get product details.

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