Posted by By Patty at 8 January, at 08 : 20 AM
A tiny device can now measure absolutely anything. From determining building efficiency or scanning for leaky insulations, and measuring the dampness of your basement, the NODE provides many uses to anyone – from the techies, builders, scientists or any homeowner who wants a simpler and smarter way of doing things.
Anyone with a NODE can take your temperature from a few feet away. But that’s not all. The device allows people to check from a distance whether their clothes dryer has finished a cycle. Or perhaps determine if the temperature outside is suitable for the kids to come out and play or to take a hike in the mountains. Use it as a light-effect device or as a motion-based joystick for gaming.
Developed by Tennessee-based Variable Technologies CEO George Yu, NODE is a modular sensor system, interfacing via bluetooth with smartphones to provide information customized to the user’s needs. It connects via Bluetooth to your iPhone using a free app to display data, a linked smartphone or computer and can be reached at a distance of up to 50 meters (164 feet). Other devices compatible with NODE include iPhone 4S, iPad 3, Macbook Pro (latest), Macbook Air (latest), Droid Razr, Asus Transformer Pad.
About the size of a roll of quarters, just slightly bigger than a C-cell battery, it also includes output devices consisting of an audio buzzer and two dimmable blue LEDs. It is also equipped with 2 MB of memory. Powered by a lithium ion battery that can be charged via micro USB port, its battery allows the device to run for 12 to 14 hours with continuous Bluetooth data transmission and reception.
The central part of the system is the KORE mode with a gyroscope, accelerometer and magnetometer. The combination allows a user to measure 3D data from motion. At each end, module ports that accommodate a host of other interchangeable sensors, letting users interchange pieces to fit diverse situations. These include the Oxa module that serves as a sensor for multiple gases; the Clima module that measures barometric pressure, wind speed, temperature, and humidity; Therma (infrared thermometer); Chroma, a color sensor; the Luma module that provides flashlight-type illumination in user-specified intensities and patterns; and a game controller module.
Even with everything it can do, the device presently is still in a limited functionality stage. Yu plans to build more sensor attachments. It’s quite a hard sell for now as it is bit on the pricey side, but mass production should drop those costs over time – and with its flexibility, no doubt it will continue to appeal to more individual users and businesses.
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