The team at Particle have put together a fantastic new program to help groups who are looking to use the IoT for social good called “Particle for Good”. The program will provide these groups with additional benefits and resources, helping them reach new heights with their endeavours. I spoke with Jeff Eiden, Product Manager at Particle, about the program.
Particle, for those who haven’t heard of the platform before, is an easy to use, Internet of Things (IoT) platform. Particle microcontrollers come with built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, along with a ready-to-go cloud service enabling you to connect up your devices to the IoT super easily! It’s my favourite IoT platform out there! Jeff pointed out that the Particle developer community has grown to over 120k developers — which is massive!
Their “Particle for Good” program is their latest announcement and it is exactly the sort of thing which we love to highlight here at Dev Diner! Emerging tech can have such a great social impact and providing these groups with more resources to empower them to reach their aspirations is such a great thing! Jeff explains the program like so,
“Particle for Good is a new program that empowers qualified organizations using IoT to make a positive social impact with resources and other benefits. Through this program, we hope to enable innovators to use Particle to promote equality, protect our environment, empower underserved communities, support the arts, and more.” — Jeff Eiden
I was keen to know — how’d it all come about? Was it a single moment? A project? It turns out that it was largely due to just how many IoT developers were already using the platform for social good. Particle was already supporting some of those efforts informally, so this program will be a way to do so in a more solid way and allow other groups to apply who might not otherwise have realised they could get support. Jeff tells the story like so,
“Over the last few years, we have been especially inspired by those using Particle’s technology to create social benefit. These kinds of applications have arisen organically, and we have supported these efforts more or less informally up to now. However, we began to recognize a pattern was emerging from our community in using IoT for Good. We knew we wanted to solidify our commitment to supporting these efforts.”
“We felt that as an enabler of this new wave of computing, we play a role in encouraging the deployment of this technology in socially responsible ways. Through the benefits that we provide through the Particle for Good program, we hope that over time, we will see IoT being leveraged to help solve some of our world’s most pressing challenges.” — Jeff Eiden
How lovely is that? They have four main focus areas for the Particle for Good program:
One of those products that inspired Jeff and Particle’s “Particle for Good” program was Opti:
“One of the most personally inspiring Particle-powered IoT products for Good is a company called Opti. Large rainstorms can often cause sewers and water retention ponds to overflow in urban environments, causing flooding and pollution to natural bodies. Opti has created a stormwater management solution – helping cities protect against this kind of damage by intelligently controlling where rainwater is diverted and stored. Their connected product monitors weather forecasts and predicts how water levels in stormwater systems should be managed.
Recently, Hurricane Irma hit Florida and brought tremendous rainfall across the state. In Ormond Beach, Florida, Opti systems are installed in 5 interconnected lakes. While many of the surrounding towns experienced flooding, Ormond Beach was able to handle the excess rainfall when Opti proactively drained water from these lakes. No localized flooding occurred in the area thanks to this technology.”
If you are considering using your IoT skills for good, Jeff and the Particle team’s message to you is clear —
“Do it! You have an opportunity to use your unique skillset to make the world a better place. Amazing things happen when motivated people use powerful emerging technologies are used to solve meaningful problems.” — Jeff Eiden
There are so many possibilities out there! If you’ve got a project you’re building or one in mind, Particle For Good has a sign up form available here! Particle are keen to help you out! If you do release an IoT for social good project, get in touch with us here at Dev Diner too! We’d love to help cover your great work when it’s out there. I’ll finish up with a great quote from Jeff:
“Like all other emerging technologies, IoT is simply a tool at our collective disposal. The applications of IoT are infinite, and it is up to us to decide how to put it to work.” — Jeff Eiden
Thanks to Jeff for taking the time to share some info about their Particle for Good program and for being lovely enough to start such a great program in the first place! If your IoT project is one for social good and you’d like to apply, head to the Particle For Good sign up form here! More details are available on the Particle for Good website.