While we were in Las Vegas recently for IBM InterConnect, the developerWorks® team had the opportunity to test drive a number of very cool demos featuring a whole garden variety of technologies: Internet of Things (IoT), Cognitive Computing, Apache® Spark™, and more.

One particular demo that caught our attention was “IoT foosball.” We had the opportunity to interview IBM Cloud Developer Evangelist Stefania Kaczmarczyk, who explained to us how “IoT foosball” had been created during a week-long skunkworks project to demonstrate the Internet of Things in action. As someone who grew up playing foosball (and who always wished I’d been a better foosball player than I actually was), this was quite the compelling story. IBM Cloud Technical Evangelists (who are not all engineers) set up Raspberry Pi, a foosball table, and several Bluemix® services into a new demo product. See their wrap-up video on YouTube.

We captured some of the foosball in action, but also asked Stefania to explain the technologies behind the scenes that made it all work and, in the process, reveal the benefits of IBM cloud services.


For those of you who will be visiting us here in Austin for SXSW, you can experience the IoT demo live at SXSW Interactive March 11-15, at the IBM Cloud Lounge on the fourth floor at the Hilton Austin .

IoT foosball features

  1. Personalized Tweets are announced for players and winners from our official Twitter handle, @foosbuzz. Be sure to follow to keep track of live games.
  2. A responsive web app that runs on Bluemix keeps score, shows the leaderboard, and doubles as a real-time scoring display for TVs/projectors. Check out the current games happening now.
  3. Players can log in with their LinkedIn profiles to get a Foosbuzz profile and to show off wins and bragging rights.
  4. An audio cheering section, powered by Watson, motivates players and celebrates wins.
  5. An arcade-style hardware reset button that’s featured on the table quickly starts new games.

A few of the technologies behind the demo include IBM Bluemix, IBM IoT Foundation, IBM Watson™ Developer Cloud, IBM Cloudant, and Twilio.

You can read much more about how the IoT foosball table came together here in this blog post.

And you can reference a number of IBM Watson Internet of Things Platform recipes here.

Interested to see what else IBM is presenting at SXSW? Click here to see the full schedule.



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