Microsoft, Hackster.io, and Avnet have partnered together for the “Secure Everything with Azure Sphere” contest with prizes worth $37,000, and they’re giving away 20,000 Azure Sphere Kits from Avnet for participants to use when building their entries. If you’re looking to build a new Internet of Things (IoT) project, or have already been working on one, then this contest may provide the motivation you need to push it across the finish line. Plus, some of the prizes you could win are the Microsoft HoloLens 2, Surface Laptop 2, or a Raspberry Pi 4. Although, you better hurry as the deadline for submissions is September 29, 2019!
They are giving away prizes worth $37,000. Plus, they are giving away 20,000 Azure Sphere Kits from Avnet for contest participants to use when building their entries!
Do you have an idea on how to build a secure IoT solution? If so, then this contest is certainly for you. Also, as a bonus, this contest is open to participants all over the world! I know I have many readers in the UK, India, USA, and all over the world who will appreciate the broad availability of the contest!
Azure Sphere Contest Challenge
This Secure Everything with Azure Sphere contest centers around Microsoft Azure Sphere. Azure Sphere is an Internet of Things (IoT) platform from Microsoft that offers the ability to create highly secured, microcontroller (MCU) powered solutions. The Azure Sphere platform is built using a custom version of Linux that Microsoft modified specifically to provide multiple layers of enhanced security that can be used to create highly secured IoT solutions much more easily.
You may have some ideas of a project to build, or are already working on one that would work with Azure Sphere too. Although, in case you’re still wondering what type of IoT solution to build, and trying to come up with an idea, here are some tips to get you started:
- Use Azure Sphere to build a new, or enhance an existing, IoT edge device.
- Use Azure Sphere security features to add better security to consumer IoT projects.
- Create some innovation in the Smart Retail space using Azure Sphere.
- Build a more secure and robust home automation or building automation solution.
- Within the IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) space, you could use Azure Sphere to build more highly secured Smart Factory solutions.
- Monitor and manage an energy solution that possibly utilizes renewable energy.
- Securely integrate Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) services in Azure with Azure Sphere to build smarter IoT solutions.
The above list is just a few suggestions on areas that Azure Sphere can be used in IoT solutions for a contest submission. There are thousands (if not millions!) of possibilities, and even more variety to how those solutions could be built. Whatever your idea is, there’s likely a great contest submission you could make using that idea!
Avnet is giving away 20,000 free Azure Sphere Kits!
Avnet is giving away up to 20,000 free Azure Sphere Kits for the Security Everything with Azure Sphere contest. This is an amazing offer to get a free Azure Sphere Kit from Avnet that can be used to learn, prototype, and build an awesome IoT solution using the Azure Sphere platform.
The Avnet Azure Sphere Starter Kit is a development it that contains a carrier board with a connected Azure Sphere MT3620 compute module, and a USB cable that can be used to connect the board to your computer. Also, on the carrier board are multiple on-board sensors, LEDs, push button switches, among a few other great prototyping and development features.
Here’s a short list of the most noteworthy features of the Avnet Azure Sphere Starter Kit Carrier Board:
- Two MikroE Click board expansion sockets
- Grove expansion connector (I2C)
- On-board sensors
- 3-Axis accelerometer
- 3-Axis gyro
- Barometric Pressure
- Ambient Light
- User push button switches and LEDs
- Interface for optional OLED 128×64 display
Here’s a short list of some of the great features of the Azure Sphere MT3620 compute module on-board the Avnet Azure Sphere Starter Kit:
- MediaTek MT3620AN SoC (System on a Chip)
- 500 Mhz ARM Cortex-A7 CPU
- 200 Mhz ARM Cortex-M4F with 2 cores
- Integrated Wifi connectivity
- 3x ISU interfaces for UART, SPI, I2C
- ADC/GPIO: 3x 12-bit ADC inputs (or 3 GPIOs)
- PWM/GPIO: 9x PWM outputs (or up to 24 GPIOs)
Prizes worth $37,000!
They will be giving away an estimated $37,000 worth of prizes at the end of the Secure Everything with Azure Sphere contest. No one participant will be winner the entire prize pool. The top 510 projects will be winning prizes from this contest broken out into 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize tiers, in addition to a Hackster Impact prize and recognition tier.
The contest judges will be picking the best qualifying projects to win the prizes. To win prizes, qualifying projects will need to meet judging criteria outlined in the official contest rules.
Prize Tier 1
In prize tier 1, the top-rated project entries will be awarded a Microsoft HoloLens 2 at an estimated value of $3,500 USD. These projects will demonstrate creativity and build an exemplary Azure Sphere solution that stands above all the rest. There will be 3 winners in tier 1.
To be considered in this prize category, the Azure Sphere solution must also ping the Azure Cloud once per day for 30 consecutive days before the contest deadline. This is to ensure that the solution is both creative, but also functional and reliable.
Prize Tier 2
In price tier 2, the next set of project entries that separate themselves from the rest, and demonstrate creativity and an exemplary Azure Sphere solution will win a Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 at an estimated value of $1,000 USD. There will be 7 winners in tier 2.
To be considered in this prize category, the Azure Sphere solution must also ping the Azure Cloud once per day for 15 consecutive days before the contest deadline. This is to ensure that the solution is both creative, but also functional and reliable.
Price Tier 3
In price tier 3, projects that use the Azure Sphere Development Kit will automatically win a new Raspberry Pi 4 at an estimated value of $35 USD! This prize will be limited to up to 500 winners.
Hackster Impact Prize
During this contest, Hackster is rallying with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to help build a smarter, healthier world. The Hackster team will select one entry project that contributes to any of the sustainable development goals.
In the Hackster Impact prize tier, there will be 5 winning projects that will receive a prize value estimated at $530 USD that consists of the following items:
- $250 gift card
- $100 Adafruit gift card
- 12-month subscription to Patchr Premium ($180 USD value)
The Secure Everything with Azure Sphere contest from Hackster, Microsoft, and Avnet is a cool contest! You can register to participate in the contest to get a free Azure Sphere Starter Kit. Then, when your Azure Sphere based IoT project is ready, you can submit it as an entry to win some great prizes; including a Microsoft HoloLens 2!
It will also be interesting to see which projects get chosen for the Hackster Impact prize and how the contribute to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Do you have a green, earth friendly project that will meet these criteria?
The contest details in this article were derived from the official Secure Everything with Azure Sphere contest page over on Hackster.io. Be sure to double check and validate all the details over there. It’s possible the contest details may change, thus making this page outdated and inaccurate. They shouldn’t change, but just be aware to double check the official contest details.