On 13 September, Frantic took part in Helsinki Design Week 2013 by having an open house and showing the visitors several demos of different gizmos that our designers and propeller-heads had envisioned. We also demonstrated a few new devices that we think we can build services on top of.

Internet-controlled Scalextric car track

Racing: fast cars, stench of motor oil, screeching tires, life-endangering stunts on a slick track and champagne for the winners? It can be that, or something much more exciting.

To showcase how to connect internet services into real-life devices we took two Rasperry Pi minicomputers and connected them to a classic Scalextric car track. Each Raspberry Pi computer has a custom web server software in them and controls one track. Once loaded to a mobile phone's browser it hooks into the phone's orientation sensors and sends the sensor values to the minicomputer via web. After that the phone's orientation regulates how fast the car goes, via internet.

It’s really inexpensive to connect internet to real-life devices, and writing the custom software is fairly straightforward. We use the same techniques on the client's sites daily.

We are preparing to publish the implementation instructions and software Open Source on GitHub. Stay tuned if you want to have your own internet-controlled Scalextric track for a Christmas party!

More on the subject from my presentation about IOT