Android Things Hackster Contest Now Underway
Written by Lucy Black   
Saturday, 16 September 2017

Google, Hackster and NXP have launched a contest with a top prize worth $5K for projects powered by Android Things, the software platform for building mass-market products based on Android Studio and the Android SDK.



Launched in Developer Preview in December 2016, Android Things is Google's platform that enables Android developers to create Internet of Things (IoT) devices. The range of development boards originally supported by Android Things was Raspberry Pi 3, NXP Pico  and Intel Edison with support for the Intel Joule added at Developer Preview 2. Since Intel has discontinued both the Edison and the Joule these platforms are moving to legacy support and Developer Preview 5 (DP5), which was released last month adds support for the NXP SpiroT i.MX6UL, the fourth NXP hardware platforms now supported: 



Whereas previously Android Things was based on Android N, DP5 is based on Android Oreo, which brings new API features. Other improvement in the release relate to Raspberry Pi 3 and are support for OpenGL ES 2.0 and WebView, and dynamic pin muxing (multiplexing) to enable pins to be configured at runtime depending on what features are being used. 

Google has created a wide range of samples, demonstrating how to interact with buttons, sensors, LEDs, and displays, as well as implementing Google Assistant and TensorFlow and these samples for Android Things are now available directly in Android Studio for browsing and importing. 

The contest, which challenges developers to showcase your use of Android Things started on September 15th on, the community site dedicated to learning hardware. Its Project Submission deadline is October 31st. but there is also an Ideas Submission deadline of September 29th, for concepts rather than completed projects, which makes contestants eligible to receive one of 120 Pico Pi i.MX6UL Kits to use in the final design.

The following categories are included in the contest: 

  • Smart Home
  • Robotics
  • Smart City
  • Industrial IoT / Manufacturing
  • Retail
  • Entertainment

Projects do not need to be one of the chosen recipients of a Pico kit to be eligible for one of three main prizes which consist of cash plus support from Avnet, Dragon Innovation and Kickstarter to take their ideas from prototype to production.





The other two cash prizes are: 

  • Best Startup Prize: $2500 
  • Best IoT Prize:       $1000

The contest is open to both hobbyists and professionals and has the usual exclusions of Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria. With regard to age the rules state:  

If you are considered a minor in your place of residence, then you should ask your parent’s or legal guardian’s permission prior to submitting an entry into this challenge.

To be awarded free hardware you need to create a free account and register as a participant for this contest and submit an idea that include use of the Android Things platform and / or services in English on the Idea Form provided.

A Final Submission needs to consist of a project plus its documentation and the following judging criteria give a good impression of what is required:

Project Documentation (60 points) 

  • Story/Instructions - Show how you created your project, including images, screenshots, and/or video
  • BOM – Detail the hardware components as well as any apps you used
  • Must use Android Things in all projects submited
  • Schematics – Use software like, draw your circuit diagrams, or include detailed photographs
  • Code – Include working code with helpful comments
  • Great photographs, videos, and screenshots are worth a thousand words. Ask yourself: "If I was a beginner reading this project, would I understand how to recreate it?"
  • Project must clearly address the contest theme
  • Project must be able to explain a complicated idea simply

Google Services (15 points) 

  • Use other services from Google, such as TensorFlow(TM) or Google Cloud Services and land extra points. 

Creativity (25 points) 

  • Your idea doesn't have to be perfect, but it should be creative (a fresh take on an old idea is often worth as much as a brand new idea).

So if you already have, or are familiar, with a project that could be ported to Android Things, here is an opportunity to recycle it. This makes a lot of sense from Google's point of view. For Android Things to have a share of the IoT market it needs a lot of products - including all the obvious ones. 

If you want to know about building IoT Products with Android Things this webinar has plenty of answers:



Or see Getting Started With Google's Android Things, but this dates from Developer Preview 2 and so doesn't cover all the features.

More Information

Android Things Hackster Contest

Contest Brief

Android Things

Android Things Developer Preview 5  

Related Articles

Android Things - Google's IoT

Getting Started With Google's Android Things

Android Things Dev Preview 2 Could Be What We Need!

Android@Home - Easy home automation?


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Last Updated ( Saturday, 25 November 2017 )