iCelsius Wireless: The Ultimate Sensor Monitoring System
iCelsius Wireless: The Ultimate Sensor Monitoring System
Extend your smart phones/tablets with WiFi Wireless Sensors for home use in applications such as cooking, health, environment, and more
Extend your smart phones/tablets with WiFi Wireless Sensors for home use in applications such as cooking, health, environment, and more Read more
About this project
Evolution of the Product
Since 2007 we have been working on sensors, and wireless technologies used by the sensors; some times called as wireless sensor networks. Right around that time two companies Intel and G2 separately came up with the first low power WiFi chips. We immediately saw the potential; WiFi being everywhere it was clear this could completely change sensor monitoring. We released our first product with WiFi sensors late 2009 for hospitals to monitor their freezers and refrigerators. The solution we had was still not ready for the consumer market. With the smart phones and tablets everywhere it was time to bring a WiFi based sensor monitoring for home applications. We came up with a first sketch on the product late 2011. Now, after 16 months of designing and re-designing we have a product.
The Product - Hardware
Wirleless devices are all around us and we are all familiar with Bluetooth devices. WiFi wireless is also everywhere but not as common as Bluetooth devices because it is not as easy to setup. But WiFi has the huge advantage of being very stable (no pairing issues) and able to monitored remotely (e.g. over the internet). The common challenges with WiFi devices are related to power management (when battery powered) and usability (when you have no display on a device "usability" can be challenging). We have overcome these challenges to create a product that can make home monitoring easy and fun to use.
Several innovations and sometimes very simple design changes have been used to solve the challenges of WiFi. Battery life in wireless devices are always an issue so we decided to use a rechargeable battery (which is not the paradigm used for wireless sensors) so you do not have to keep changing batteries. The multiple WiFi modes described in the video are the ways you can solve the usability problem.
Our goal was to create a product for home use. The device includes a wireless unit, a sensor and the software that runs on your smart phones/tablets. The video below is a demonstration of the product working:
By having separate probes that work with one unit, ADDING NEW PROBES becomes a great way to add more home applications. Below you can see sketches of the wireless device with the different probes we are releasing now:
The video gives you some examples of how to use the iCelsius Wireless. Below are some details on one of the units:
For more images on other probes go to the end of this section.
The Product - Software
There will be an App called iCelsius 2.0 available on iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and iPad Mini) and Android (phone and tablet). This App will include support for multiple practical applications, including monitoring alerting, notifications, sharing data (e.g. tweet, share on facebook etc.) To facilitate remote monitoring, we will place a server in the cloud to pass the sensor data to the App on your smart phone or tablet. This allows monitoring to continue even if the direct WiFi link is broken.
Unique Feature: The App will auto-detect the probe and show the appropriate application.
We have been working on wireless sensors for 3 years. The iCelsius Wireless is a culmination of this effort to make wireless sensors fun and easy to use by consumers. Now we are ready for production; here is an itemized list of how your funding will be used:
- Prototypes of the hardware made and tested
- Tested iCelsius wireless with iOS and Android
- FCC (US) and CE (Europe) wireless approval
- Die design for molding
- App development: Basic app/functionality check
- App design of iCelsius 2.0
- Manufacture the hardware- This entails manufacturing of the electronics which is normally done at a contract manufacturer. They make the printed circuit boards, assemble and do the first level of testing
- Tooling for the Enclosure- The iCelsius Wireless has a plastic top and stainless steel bottom. The stainless is deep drawn in a mold and the plastic top is injection molded. Toolings here refers to the molds for the top and bottom
- Manufacture the probe- The probes are made from a 3.3ft (1meter) long cable with the sensor on one end and the connector on the other end. We have already manufactured the cable with the sensor. The connector portion is yet to be done. This again will be molded using a low pressure molding process
- Programming to support all the WiFi modes and probes. This refers to application development for iOS (apple platform) and Android platform
The iCelsius Wireless is a 3"x2"x0.4" box that is made from stainless steel with the front made out of plastic (for wireless communication). The cable on the probes are 3.3ft (1meter) long. For the list below we will shorten iCelsius Wireless as iCW
- $79 BASIC- iCW with a general purpose waterproof temp probe
- $85 Single BBQ- iCW with a single high temp probe
- $89 Temp/RH- iCW with a T/RH connector
- $89 BT- iCW with a body temperature probe
- $99 Dual BBQ- iCW with 2 high temp probe
- $115 IP- iCW with a food inspection probe
- $149 PICK TWO- iCW with any 2 probes
- $249 PREMIUM PACK- iCW with all the probes
- $249 SDK/API- Write your App includes one iCW with basic probe
[IAQ will be available if funding level crosses $400,000]
- $149 IAQ- iCW with indoor air quality monitor
Our approach is to keep adding new probes over time. IAQ (indoor air quality monitor) will be one of the first new ones we will add. How does it monitor the indoor air quality? It measures CO2 and other volatile organics - essentially it measures bad indoor air!
Risks and challenges
Here is a list of potential problems:
Manufacture the hardware- We have identified several suppliers. However we can only pick one based on the funding level. The biggest risk here is potential delays because of long lead time on certain component.
Tooling for the plastic molding - Delay in tooling is possible. However we have used the supplier before so we are reasonably confident.
Software Release - We are dependent on the App stores to release the software. Sometimes delays can happen in getting approval. We already have a software called iCelsius released in the App store. The iCelsius 2.0 is the next generation software that will support wireless devices.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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