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The Internet of Basketball, Part two


Hello everyone!

As we all know, putting things on the Internet is all the rage. Good news for us, TI has all of the components to make it easier to create cloud-connected applications, from microcontrollers (MCUs), to wireless devices and beyond.

For an upcoming charity event with United Way, the LaunchPad™ team decided to build an Internet-connected application that would encourage TI employees to take part in the United Way Foundation. Here’s what we were thinking:

Internet of Basketball (IoB)

We purchased an arcade basketball hoop, stripped out all of the native electronics then did a simple brain transplant so that we could use the TI LaunchPad and various BoosterPacks™ to enable our solution to talk to the cloud. Details on the hardware setup are available in this blog post.

To track players' scores, we wanted to tie everything to our TI badges, which are RFID-enabled. Here's how we'll keep track:

  • Using the TRF7970A NFC BoosterPack, we’ll read badge scans and use the badge IDs to sync individual player scores
  • Using the SimpleLink™ Wi-Fi®CC3200 wireless microcontroller (MCU) Launchpad, we’ll be able to send scores and badge IDs to the cloud using MQTT via Wi-Fi®
  • Once a score and badge ID is sent to the cloud, we store this information into a MongoDB database
  • In addition, we’re building a website that will enable live score updates, provide simple data analysis like average scores and chart out the top 10 players
  • For our cloud server, we are using IBM’s BlueMix, a flexible platform-as-a-service where we are hosting a node.JS runtime, which is running Node-RED, a graphical tool for creating node.JS applications with a drag and drop graphical interface

We’re just a few weeks away from the United Way kick off event here at Texas Instruments! TI employees will be able to badge in and compete for the top score on our Internet-connected arcade basketball machine for a chance to win prizes and bragging rights! In order to play, we’ll ask each participant to donate to the great causes that United Way supports!

Here’s a quick sneak peak of what we’re putting together:

Stay tuned as we continue to pull this demo together!

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