Node- a future sensor package

Watching this invention as it goes through a kickstart project launch, and it is not far from market.

When it does, with some additional modules I could see it as offering an amazing arsenal of tools for the woodworker/shed dweller/OHS professional/physical world measurement and monitoring.

At the heart of this device is a handheld component, called the Kore.

  • Arduino compatible
  • Lithium Polymer battery (650 mAh)
  • 12-14 hours battery life with continuous Bluetooth use
  • 2 MB memory
  • 3-axis accelerometer
  • 3-axis magnetometer
  • 3-axis gyroscope
  • Audio buzzer
  • Bluetooth 2.1 or Bluetooth Low Energy
  • 2 module ports
  • 2 dimmable blue LEDs
  • micro-USB for charging and firmware programming

It is compatible with iPhone 4S, iPad3 and a number of other bluetooth 4.0 smartphones.  The Kore has positional feedback (rotation and movement), so I could already see it being built into squares and levels.

However, it doesn’t end there.  The end caps are different modules, providing a whole suite of customisations.

One is called Clima, (climate sensor) giving temperature, wind speed, barometric pressure, humidity, and all this information is wirelessly sent to your iPhone (etc) where it is recorded, and a host of calculations performed to calculate such things as wind chill, elevation etc.

There is a light module called Luma, and so many more in production:

Radiation detector

IR thermometer

Gas detector (Oxa) sensing

  • Carbon Monoxide (0 – 400 ppm)
  • Carbon Dioxide (500 ppm to 90%)
  • Chlorine (0 – 10 ppm)
  • Nitric Oxide (0 – 40 ppm)
  • Hydrogen (0 – 20 ppm)
  • Sulfur Dioxide (0 – 10 ppm)

I’ve had a few brief discussions with the inventor, and have ascertained there is a particle detector on the way, able to detect particles down to 2.5 micron, and have encouraged some other modules:

Moisture detector (pinned and/or pinless) for sensing timber dryness

Metal detector (for finding buried nails etc)

And your imagination could just run on the sort of uses you could find for this device in (or out of) the workshop.  For those with a real technical bent, there will also be blank modules for you to build your own sensors, and the programming is being kept open source so you can create your own interface, custom adaptions, or built from scratch.

Can’t believe how much I want one of these!  Need to upgrade my phone and/or iPad first though – bring on the iPhone 5!

The power of the modern portable computer (phone or tablet) makes for a really exciting time in the world of inventions – it is such a powerful platform that inventors can build upon, and this sort of device makes incredible use of it.

The pricing will be around the $200 mark for the Kore, and modules from about $30 (and up), so it is so within the affordable price bracket.

Imagine a device like this just 5 years ago – it would have cost thousands, even for one or two of these modules as a dedicated sensor.  Not with this amount of interchangeable modules, wireless communication.  Unbelievable!

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