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Xiaolei Li, First Place winner of the Qualcomm LTE IoT Application Development Contest
Our Qualcomm Developer of the Month for March is Xiaolei Li, the winner of our recent Qualcomm LTE for IoT Application Development Contest run in China. The intent of the contest was to expose more developers to our LTE for IoT SDK, and we got some great ideas from our entrants. Out of almost 250 entrants, and culminating in a final 36-hour hackathon, Xiaolei was crowned our winner.
The project he created was built out of a need to improve upon the usage of wall-hanging furnaces in daily life. His winning submission combined Internet of Things (IoT) technology with traditional HVAC technology, to provide a more intelligent wall-hanging furnace that offers better control and comfort, while improving energy efficiency. As part of his prize, Xiaolei visited the Qualcomm offices in San Diego where we were able to catch up with him and find out more about this great developer.
Tell us a bit about your project?
My project combines IoT connectivity with traditional HVAC technology in the hopes of improving the level of control, resulting comfort levels, and energy efficiency provided by boilers in wall-hanging furnaces.
Where did you get the idea for your project?
Traditional wall hanging-furnaces presents users with a number of inconveniences in their daily lives. From the simplistic controls to little or no automation, it can be frustrating for users to control the temperature of their boilers, and this can also result in a great deal of inefficiency in the running of the boiler. I wanted to create a solution that helps to provide optimal comfort levels in users’ homes and allow users to manually adjust settings more efficiently.
How did you prepare for the contest and hackathon?
After I received the Gokit 4.0 development board, I started going through the schematics and the SDK. Then I moved forward with setting up the development environment which included: installing the compiler tools, setting up environment variables, building the source code, and setting up the app to the device. I then built a product in the cloud to see if the device could go live to provide remote controls.
Once the device supported cloud connectivity, I defined special data points according to various device requirements, and then modified the code according to those requirements. From there it was just a matter of testing and verification.
Where do you get your inspiration? Do you have any technology heroes?
As a developer, I’m well aware that everything is becoming modernized through cloud and edge computing, and HVAC products are no exception. I use a wall-hanging furnace in my daily life, so the inconveniences and challenges it poses, continues to play a key role in inspiring me to build something better. My technology hero is Linus Torvalds, the founder of Linux.
What do you predict for IoT in 10 years?
I think in the next ten years, IoT technology will become even more energy efficient and will find its way into an even wider range of new applications. At the same time, there will also be a lot more cellular data connections. If operators have better network coverage and network stability, narrow-band IoT (NB-IoT)-based technology will evolve greatly.
How did you use technologies from QTI in your project?
In my project I used the LTE for IoT SDK for protocol conversion and handling communications with the cloud.
Do you plan on using Qualcomm technologies on future projects? If so, how?
Yes, once the mobile operators provide a more stable NB-IoT signal, this NB-IoT technology can be used to control a wider range of products, especially those that can benefit from being controlled remotely.
Anything else to share with our developer community?
Technology is openly available, but the degree of openness will determine the speed at which technology is promoted and adopted. I hope QTI can hold more such activities and increase the exchange of technology. Such activities will push engineers beyond their comfort zone, broaden their horizons, and learn about applications in other industries.