Intro to Making Smart Devices

Introduction to Making Smart Devices

Introduction to Making Smart Devices

  • What are smart devices?

  • What is “making”?

Making Smart Devices

“Making and the maker movement is the physical manifestation of all your academic learning - how you apply your education to real-world problems

–Dr. Dorothy Jones-Davis

  • Interacting with “smart” devices in the environment
  • Involves programming, electronics, 3d printing, wearables, networking, interaction design

What is IoT (Internet of Things)?


  • Internet
    • connect to the internet to send and receive data
  • Things
    • “smart” devices that are programmed interact with environment

Why learn this?

  • Jobs (2020 data)
    • 4.5 million Internet of Things (IoT) developers
      • 57% annual growth rate
    • 26 billion Internet nodes (excl. phones, tablets, and computers)
      • 30 fold increase from 2009
  • 2025: projected 42 billion IoT devices globally
  • Cross-discipline
    • CS, EE, data analytics, product design, entrepreneurship, making

Why learn this?

  • Industry opportunities
    • Companies and organizations are using open source tools to build devices (even NASA has used Arduino)
    • Companies are looking for people who know these technologies

Why learn this?

  • Hardware entrepreneurship
    • Cost of manufacturing is within reach of small amount of funding
    • Entrepreneurs are partnering with places like Sparkfun to build out their ideas
    • Tools and open-source platforms mean you can build a prototype without an engineering degree

Why learn this?

Empowering and fun

  • “We are on the verge of machines that can think, and we are carrying magic wands in our pocket but most people see them as read-only” – Jeff Branson, educator and engineer

Examples: Gadgets

  • Mi.Mu / Imogen Heap (
  • Form - AR swim googles


Examples: Education

  • Lumi - teach piano
  • Cubetto - learn programming without a screen width:500px width:500px

Examples: Health

  • UFO - beauty mask
  • Jolt - concussion sensor for athletes width:500px width:500px

Examples: Social Good

  • Grillo - early earthquake warnings in rural Mexico and Chile
  • ReWalk - exoskeleton to help people with spinal cord injuries width:200pxwidth:300px


1. Basic prototype 2. PCB prototype
height:150px height:150px
3. Manufacturing  


  • WiFi and Cellular
  • Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)
    • Ex: Communication between smart watch and phone; wireless headphones
    • Range: ~1200+ ft
  • Near-Field Communication (NFC)
    • Ex: Contact-less payment like Apple Pay
    • Range: 4 inches

Our focus in this class

  • building electronic prototype
  • creating the software code
  • communicating with / controlling device via internet

Past Student Work - Competition

Student Car Student Car

Past Student Projects

IMG_0981 ITP-348 Final Projects 014 121719

Past Student Projects

| IMG_0981 | ITP-348 Final Projects 014 121719 | | ———————————————————— | ———————————————————— | | | |

Past Student Projects

IMG_0981 ITP-348 Final Projects 014 121719