Archive

Posts Tagged ‘ios’

$59 HDFury Universal PSU Doctor Supports Power Monitoring via iOS or Android

May 3rd, 2017 4 comments

We’ve recently covered Cambrionix PowerPad 15S, a high-end 16-port USB hub that can deliver 5V/2.1A on each port, integrates power monitoring function, and an API to control and monitor each port individually. That’s a very cool device, but it’s also expensive at around $600, and even the cheaper PowerPad 15C without data pins, come at $200. If you don’t need the complete set of features offered by Cambrionix devices, but you’ll like to get a reliable multi-port USB charger with power monitoring function, HDFury Universal PSU Doctor could be an interesting option.

HDFury Universal PSU Doctor specifications:

  • MCU – Renesas RL78 16-bit MCU
  • USB – 3x USB ports with 2x 5V ports up to 5V/2.14A, 1x USB QC 2.0 port supporting 5V/2.14A, 9V/1.6A or 12V/1.2A output
  • ADC – Up to 11 channels, 10-bit resolution for power monitoring
  • Sensor – n-chip temperature sensor
  • Power Supply
    • Built-in 100 ~ 240V AC with US, EU, UK plug types (Sorry Australian readers).
    • Ripple and Noise: 80mV
    • Efficiency: 80%
  • Power Consumption @ 5V?
    • Stop – RAM retained: 0.23 μA; LVD enabled: 0.31 μA
    • Snooze – 0.7 mA (UART), 1.20 mA (ADC)
    • Operating: 63 μA /MHz
  • Dimensions – 8.9 x 5.3 x 4.2 cm.
  • Weight – 142g
  • Certifications – Rohs, CE and FCC (no UL / ETV / TUV?)

Click to Enlarge

The first two USB ports (1 & 2) can handle 5V, and the first one can connect to a smartphone audio jack to report the voltage, current, and power for all three USB ports. The third port also supports Quick Charge 2.0.

Power monitoring is done through DrPSU app available for Android and iOS, but note that it’s expected to work only on branded smartphones such as Samsung, LG, Sony, Xiaomi, Apple… and obviously this feature won’t work on the most recent models without an headphone jack since it is required. The app cannot control the USB port individually, for example to turn them on and off, it only displays the data. The video below demonstrates well how it all works.

HDFury Universal PSU Doctor is sold for $59 with free shipping on HDfury website. There’s a 5-year warranty, but you’d have to return the charger to China, and I could not find the warranty’s terms and conditions.

Kudrone Nano Drone Shoots “4K” Videos, Follows You With GPS (Crowdfunding)

March 24th, 2017 6 comments

Kudrone is a palm-sized drone equipped with a 4K camera that can follow you around for up to 8 minutes thanks to its 650 mAh battery by tracking your smartphone location via GPS. You can also take matters on your own hands by piloting the drone with your smartphone.

The drone also includes various sensors such as an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a magnetic compass, a sonar, and a vision positioning sensor enabling features such as auto hovering. Some of the specifications include:

  • Storage – Up to 64GB (micro SD card)
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi up to 80 meters
  • GNSS – GPS / GLONASS
  • Camera
    • Sony CMOS 1/3.2 image sensor (13MP)
    • F2.8 / H100 V78.5 / D:120 lens
    • Image resolution up to 3280 x 2464
    • Video resolution 4K, 2.7K, 1080p, 720p
  • Flight Parameters – Max altitude – 30 meters; hovering accuracy: +/- 0.1 meter
  • Battery – 650 mAh LiPo1S battery good for up to 8 minutes (but lower when the camera and GPS are on)
  • Dimensions – 174 x 174 x 43 mm

It’s a little odd that it records 4K videos, but image resolution is limited to 3280×2464, so there may be some extrapolation here and the video quality is unlikely to match what most people would consider “4K”. You can see a video shot with drone – but apparently not while flying – here, and it is limited to 1080p60 on YouTube.

Kudrone Team  provided a comparison pitting their drone against some other cheap nano drones, and some higher end drones by DJI and Parrot.

iPhone or Android mobile apps will allow you to control the drone, enable/disable features, and sync your photos and videos with your  smartphone. The preview is shown at 720p with a 160 ms delay.

The drone launched on Indiegogo several days ago, and has been pretty popular having raised close to $700,000 with 21 days to go. All very early bird rewards at $99 are gone, but you could still get the drone for $109 with two propeller sets, a charger, a 16GB micro SD card, two batteries, and a pair of propeller protector. Shipping adds $9 to the US or China, and $25 to the other countries I checked. Delivery is scheduled for July 2017. The drone is made by a company called Fujian Ruiven Technology, and Kudrone is not their first drone. However, you may want to check out the update section on Indiegogo to see pictures and video samples, as well as videos of the drone in action to get a better idea of the drone current capabilities.

Categories: Hardware Tags: Android, drone, indiegogo, ios, wifi

Texas Instruments CC3200 WiFi SensorTag is Now Available for $40

March 15th, 2017 No comments

Texas Instruments launched SensorTag in 2013, and at the time there was just a Bluetooth 4.0 LE version with 6 different sensors. I bought one for $25 at the time, and tried it with a Raspberry Pi board and a BLE USB dongle. Since then, the company has launched a new multi standard model (CC2650STK) supporting Buetooth low energy, 6LoWPAN, and ZigBee, and has just started to take orders for CC3200 WiFi SensorTag for $39.99, which seems expensive in a world of $2 ESP8266 modules.

But let’s see what the kit has to offer:

  • Wireless MCU – Texas Instruments CC3200 SimpleLink ARM Cortex-M4 MCU @ up to 80 MHz, with up to 256KB RAM, Hardware Crypto Engine, DMA engine
  • Storage – 1 MB serial flash memory
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi with on-board inverted-F antenna with RF connector for conducted testing
  • Sensors – Gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, light sensor (OPT3001), humidity sensor (HDC1000), IR temperature sensor (TMP007), and pressure sensor (BMP280)
  • Expansion – 20-pin DevPack SKIN connector
  • Debugging – Debug and JTAG interface for flash programing
  • Misc – 2x buttons, 2x LEDs, reed relay MK24, digital microphone, and a buzzer for user interaction
  • Power – 2x AAA batteries good for up to 3 months (with 1 minute update interval)

So it has plenty of sensors to play with, and rather long battery life for a WiFi evaluation platform. The kit ships with one CC3200 WiFi SensorTag, two AAA batteries, and a getting started guide.

WiFi SensorTag Mobile App – Click to Enlarge

Resources includes hardware design files (schematics, PCB layout, BoM, etc..), iOS and Android apps and source code, IoT Device Monitor for Windows, Code Composer Studio, and cloud-based development tools. Note that there’s no embedded software for the Wi-Fi SensorTag, it is only a a demo platform, while you can modify cloud-based applications, you can’t modify the firmware. If you want an embedded development platform, you’d have to go with CC3200 LaunchPad board. You can still have some fun SensorTag using Android or iOS app, or connecting it to IBM Watson IoT Platform.

Visit SensorTag page for further information.

Omron Project Zero 2.0 is a Thinner Wrist Blood Pressure Monitor & Smartwatch

January 11th, 2017 No comments

Omron Project Zero BP6000 blood pressure monitor & smartwatch / fitness tracker was unveiled at CES 2016. The device was due to be released at the end of 2016 pending FDA approval, but the launch has now been delayed to spring 2017, and it will be sold under the name “HEARTVUE”. The company has however showcased a new version at CES 2017, for now just called Omron Project Zero 2.0 that has the same functions but is more compact and lightweight.

omron-project-zero-2-0-1-0

Omron Project Zero 2.0 (left) vs Project Zero BP6000 “Heartvue” (right)

The watch will also work with Omron Connect US mobile app, and can record accurate blood pressure, as well as the usual data you’d get from fitness trackers including activity (e.g. steps) and sleep, as well as smartphone notifications. Blood pressure measurement can be activated by the user by pressing a button and raising his/her wrist to the height of the chest. The goal is the same as the first generation watch: to make people who need it measure their blood pressure in a more convenient fashion. The second generation device looks much more like a standard wristwatch as the company reduced the size of the inflatable cuff.

blood-pressure-smartwatchThe new model will also have to go through FDA approval, a time consuming process, and Omron Healthcare intends to release the device in 2018 for around $300. More details about the new model may eventually show up on the company’s Generation Zero page.

Via Nikkei Technology

You Can Buy AirPods-like Wireless Bluetooth Stereo Earbuds for $16 and Up

November 30th, 2016 9 comments

Most Bluetooth headsets on the market actually come with some sort of wire or holding mechanism, which may not always be convenient, for example I can’t use mine comfortably while lying down on the bed. But that to electronics miniaturization, companies have recently started to offer truly wireless Bluetooth earbuds, including Apple’s yet-to-be available $159 Airpods. This morning I noticed two similar products in new arrivals list, first with $59.99  QCY Q29 mini Earburds on GeekBuying, and then even cheaper, but not quite as good looking (and likely not so good sounding), “FreeStereo Twins Wireless Bluetooth v4.1 In-Ear Headset w/ Mic” on DealExtreme going for just $22.25 including shipping.

qcy-q29-earbudsLet’s start with QCY Q29 earbuds specifications:

  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.1 with HFP, HSP, A2DP, AVRC protocols support; up to 5-10 meter range
  • Built-in Microphone
  • Charging port – pogo on earbuds, micro USB to storage/charging box
  • Battery – 45mAh for up to 12 hours per charge; Charging time: one hour
  • Dimensions – Earbud: 17 x 25 x 29mm
  • Weight – 5.3 grams per earbud

QCY Q29 earphones ship with three pairs of silicon earcups, a charging cable, a charging box, and an English manual. You’ll be able to answer/reject call, lsiten to music, and all the things you’d normally do with a Bluetooth headset. The earbuds are also available on other shops such Banggood (now with 18% discount coupon), and Amazon US where you can also buy individual earbud for $13.5 in case you lose one. Reviews are generally positive on Amazon, but one person did mention that “Was ok but don’t stay in the ear well“, so I’m not sure it’s suitable for running for example…

cheap-airpods-clone

The cheaper noname version shown above with all accessories has a shorter battery life:

  • Connectivity – Bluetooth 4.1 with support for SP / HFP / A2DP / AVRCP; up to 10 meter range
  • Embedded Microphone
  • Charging port – pogo on earbuds, micro USB to charging dock
  • Battery – LiPo battery for up to 3 hours talk time, 5 hours music , 55 hours in standby mode; Charging time: 3 hours
  • Misc – Not waterproof
  • Dimensions – Earbud: 2.7 cm x 1.8 cm x 2.7 cm
  • Weight – 9 grams per earbud

The earbuds also ship with three pairs of silicon earcups, a charging cable, a charging dock, and an user’s manual in English and Chinese.

You’ll also find various “true wireless stereo earbuds” on Aliexpress for various prices, and one pair that could be interesting is X1T earbuds selling for $15.99 and up.

x1t-true-wireless-earphone

Sevenhugs Smart Remote is a Universal Direction Aware WiFi, Bluetooth and IR Remote Control (Crowdfunding)

November 25th, 2016 2 comments

You may have all sort of remote control devices around your home from the traditional IR remote control for your TV, air conditioner, audio system etc.., as well remote control apps for WiFi or Bluetooth objects such as smart light bulbs or water pumps running on your smartphone. Sevenhugs Smart Remote promises to replace them all, and all you have to do is to point the remote control to your devices, or setup virtual actions to your door or window to order a Uber drive or check the weather.
sevenhugs-remote-control

Sevenhugs Smart Remote specifications:

  • MCU – ARM Cortex-M4 @ 200 MHz
  • System Memory – 32 MB RAM
  • LCD – 3.43″ touch screen IPS display; Dragontrail damage ans scratch resistant cover glass, anti-fingerprint & anti-glare
  • Wireless Connectivity – IR transceiver, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 LE connectivity
  • USB – USB C port for charging
  • Sensors – Indoor positioning sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, ambient light sensor
  • Misc – Small speaker
  • Dimensions – 135 x 41 x 9.7 mm

The remote comes with a charging base including a lost & found button to make the remote control ring in case you can’t locate it, as well as three room sensors to place close to the object/service your want to control, for example one close to your TV, the other on your door, and the last one next to your window. You’ll still need a smartphone running Android or iOS to install an app to configure the remote control for your devices, and currently 25,000 devices using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or Infrared are supported with more being added daily.
smart-remote-room-sensorsOnce this simple setup is complete, simply point to remote to the device or service you want to control, and the screen interface will adapt to the objects pointed with for example volume control for an audio system, and weather forecast when pointing to a window. If you have several objects in a zone for example a TV with set-top box and AV receiver, you can use the carousel on the remote control to switch between each of them. This also means you can control other WiFi devices from any room in your home.

The company will also release a Lua SDK based in C/C++, first allowing to add new devices to be released in June 2017 but with an early release already available in github, and then allowing much more control over the remote such as developing custom gesture, screens, and menus. The Level 2 part of the SDK is scheduled for release at the end of 2017.

The remote control has been launched in Kickstarter, and have been very successful so far having raised over $700,000. Most early bird rewards are gone, but you can still pledge $149 to get  Smart Remote Kit including the charging base and 3 room sensors. Shipping is free to the US and western Europe, but for other countries it will cost you $20 to $35 extra, and delivery is scheduled for July 2017. More details may be found on Sevenhugs Smart Remote microsite.

Sonoff Pow is a $10.50 ESP8266 WiFi Relay Box that also Measures Power Consumption

October 10th, 2016 24 comments

In a recent article about Sonoff TH10/TH16 WiFi relays with sensor probes support, we also saw that ITEAD Studio started to have a nice family of home automation products. The company has now added one more item to the Sonoff family with Sonoff Pow support up to 16A/3500W input, and the first to also include power consumption measurements.

sonoff_powSonoff Pow specifications:

  • SoC – Espressif ESP8266 Tensila L106 32-bit MCU up to 80/160 MHz with WiFi
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi with WPA/WPA2 support
  • Relay – HF152F-T relay with 90 to 250 VAC input, up to 16A (3500 Watts)
  • Terminals – 6 terminal for mains and load’s ground, live and neutral signals.
  • Programming – Unpopulated 4-pin header for flashing external firmware
  • Misc – LEDs for power and WiFi status, power consumption circuitry with 1% accuracy.
  • Dimensions – 114 x 52 x 32mm
  • Temperature range – -40 ℃ to 125 ℃

sonff-esp8266-power-consumptionThe wireless relay can be controlled using Ewelink app for Android or iOS. But beside manually turning on and off the device, or settings timer like with all other Sonoff devices, you can also check real-time, daily or monthly power usage.

sonoff-pow-android-app

There’s some limited info on the Wiki,  and I could not find any API incase you want to measure the power consumption from your own app or program. But at least they’ve release the schematics showing HLW8012 chip (Datasheet in Chinese)  is used to measure power consumption, and is connected to ESP8266 via SCL and PWM1 pins. The 4-pin header would also allow you to flash you own firmware relatively easily on the board.

The company also mentions “this is a customizable product. Based on the original prototype, we can make the customized prototype that meets your requirements”, so if you order in quantities you should be able to get a slightly modified hardware and customized firmware.

ITEAD Studio home automation products used not to have any kind of CE/FCC/UL/TUV/ETL certifications, but the company recently got CE certification for their Sonoff switch, which explains the CE logo on the unit.

Sonoff Pow is available now for $10.50 plus shipping.

Thanks to Harley for the tip.

Silicon Labs Introduces $29 Thunderboard React Bluetooth 4.2 LE IoT Board and $69 Derby Car Kit

October 3rd, 2016 No comments

Earlier this summer, Silicon labs launched ThunderBoard React, a Bluetooth 4.2 LE compliant board with sensors and expansion headers for IoT applications based on the company’s BGM111 Bluetooth Smart Module, and to make it much more fun to work with the company has released a Derby Car kit controlled by the board.

thunderboard-reactThunderBoard React specifications:

  • Bluetooth Module – BGM111 Bluetooth 4.2 compliant module with integrated Tx and Rx antenna, and Cortex M4 MCU @ 38.4 MHz with 32 kB RAM and 256 kB Flash
  • Extra Storage – Footprint for 8Mb external flash storage
  • Sensors – Si7021 relative humidity and temperature, Si1133 UV index and ambient light sensor, Invensense MPU-6500 6-axis gyro/accelerometer, Si7201 hall effect position sensor
  • Expansion – 12 breakout pina to connect to BGM111 GPIOs
  • Debugging – 10-pin mini Simplicity debug connector
  • Misc – 2x momentary buttons, 2x LEDs, power selection switch
  • Power Supply – CR2032 coin cell battery slot or external power (Vext)
  • Dimensions – 44 x 25 mm
Click to Enlarge

Thunderboard React Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

The firmware for the board can be found in Silicon Labs Bluetooth Smart SDK as a sample application, and developed using Simplicity Studio v3 and IAR Embedded Workbench for ARM v7.30. The company also provides Thunderboard Android and iOS apps with source code in order to control the board and monitor the sensors’ data. Data can optionally be synchronized to Thundercloud platform based on Firebase by Google, again with source code available on Github.

thunderboard-appBeside just getting the board to play with BLE, sensors, apps, and the cloud platform,  you could also buy the Derby Car kit. The wheels are not driven by any motors, so the car can mostly be seen as a case for the board, and used for motion sensing while the car is moving.

You’ll find more details on Thunderboard React product page, as well as the Quick Start Guide where you’ll find link to buy the board for $29, and the complete car kit (including the board) for $59.