Develop a low power (battery driven) wireless device/sensor.
The Bluetooth Smart SensorTag is designed to shorten the design time for Bluetooth App development from months to hours by allowing App developers to write Apps that enable and use advanced sensors directly from a smartphone without any firmware or embedded software development.
Source: Simplelink SensorTag – TI.com
The pdf http://www.marvell.com/led-lighting/assets/Marvell_88EM8189_IC-01_product_brief.pdf describes a chip that can be used for low power wireless control, and can be powered directly from 120V line voltage. Build a small wireless device (motor control, light dimmer….) Note: this uses zigbee so you’d need to work on both ends of the network.
No screen, for use with computer but potentially very useful for projects.
Some background information about battery choices for energy harvesting applications.
Product: ST Electronics introduced a 6-axis sensor that actually does some analysis of the sensor data, freeing the host processor from continually having to poll the sensor. Part # is LSM330.
Many energy harvesting sources generate very low voltage and/or current. The link below is for a TI product that boosts the voltage to useful levels.
This device allows you to use wifi to control servo’s and/or read from A/D
Anadigm® makes a field programmable analog array that allows for dynamic synthesis of analog circuits (much as an FPGA does for digital circuits). This might be useful as a general purpose signal conditioner – or perhaps used with a genetic algorithm for analog circuit design.
APC has developed a 49$ Android computer. This might be an interesting platform for an embedded system for somebody who wants to learn app development on an Android system. It should have very powerful low level control of hardware and a very nice user interface.