At the 2014 Austin Trail of Lights, Freescale Semiconductor is bringing to life the power of connected technology with the new and improved Tiny Town display.
To celebrate the 50th season of Trail of Lights, Freescale collaborated with local Austin organizations such as Blue Frog School of Music, Girlstart, and robotics teams from Westlake High School and Austin Liberal Arts and Science Academy (LASA) to revamp Tiny Town and provide students with hands-on projects to build critical science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills.
Attendees are invited to experience the reinvigorated Tiny Town – a historical Trail of Lights display for over 30 years. Fun facts about this year’s miniature festive village include:
- More than 20 Freescale employees with various engineering backgrounds and nearly 50 Austin-area students worked together to complete the project over the course of eight months
- The Trail of Lights’ first interactive display allowing visitors to choose the Tiny Town theme at the push of a button
- A new drive-in movie theater accompanied by holiday songs performed by students from Blue Frog School of Music
- Live video streaming of attendees experiencing the Zilker Tree, which will then be displayed on the Tiny Town movie screen
- Local nonprofit Girlstart generated 32,000 lines of code to individually program each light on the new Zilker Tree replica
- Freescale products used extensively throughout the 2014 Tiny Town, powering everything from the model train and automated train shed to the movie theater utilizing Freescale’s Internet of Things (IoT) Gateway
- Various aesthetic improvements made to this year’s exhibition, including new vehicles developed by Girlstart, LASA and the Westlake High School robotics team; Freescale employees’ children and company interns also helped improve Tiny Town’s décor
- “Imagine a day when your car can detect an accident ahead, reroute your vehicle automatically while alerting the driver next to you that he’s falling asleep at the wheel,” said Gregg Lowe, Freescale president and CEO. “This is the power of the Internet of Things and it’s a life-changing reality for our near future. From a smart thermostat in your home, to in-home healthcare monitoring, to cars that avoid accidents, Freescale delivers technology combining hardware, software and services bringing the IoT to life. With our Trail of Lights involvement, we brought in local student groups to engage the community and teach kids how today’s technology works, as well as showcase that engineering is cool and a viable career option.”
- “As an official sponsor of Austin’s iconic Trail of Lights, we are thrilled to showcase the new Internet of Things-enabled Tiny Town display,” said Amy Woolsey, Tiny Town Project Manager, Freescale. “From the miniature Zilker tree to the connected Tiny Town train, we are illustrating the power of integrated technology and making it both accessible and easily understandable for the Austin community.”