If only there was an App that did "THAT"
We have all said it a 100 times, if we only had an App to tell us if our garage door is open late at night. Or tell us if the kids are in the cabinet with the chemicals or medicine. How about a water sensor underneath the dishwasher, and a simple message sent to your phone..."Dude your dishwashers leaking". Or a water sump pump level detector, a simple "Water Level Too High" message pops up on your phone.
What about....find your keys, remote control, or wife? Whatever you have misplaced. How about theft device on your bike? Or on your alcohol in the house? You come home and the device reports that someone has been having a FIREBALL party without you! The term is BUSTED for your kids.
So to solve life's challenges we invented THINGY. This amazing device has the ability to reprogram itself internally, to totally change its personalty and provide new features or perform new tasks in a one chip solution. The available free App will do that for you.
We took the design and turned it into 100's or 1000's of applications that are based on the fundamental Bluetooth LE Technology from Cypress Semiconductor. Then we added some other electronic components and made one heck of device that can make our lives run a little smoother, have a little peace of mind, and yes a little swag is always good.
Here are some examples...
Garage Door App --- you set the time for 9:30 pm in the App, if your garage door is open, you get a message. If you buy 2 THINGY's you do not need a phone. One communicates to the other. NO CELL required (this is awesome!). If you don't have your phone with you, or its not charged, you can still get your information without your phone.
Safety App --- Place your THINGY on the cabinet that has the chemicals, when your child wiggles that door, the 85 db Buzzer will go off FULL volume and send a alert to your phone.
Kid App --- OK, so you're thinking, "hmmm, lets see if I want the kids to stay out of the cookie jar", place THINGY in Motion mode and poof, they are totally busted if the lid comes off. It can even speak-out and say, "BOYS, NO COOKIES" and then send a message to your phone that cookie thieves are at work.
STAR TREK COMMS APP --- WALKIE TALKIE mode, get 2 THINGY 2's and place on your chest, then tap the device to communicate to the other THINGY, talk back and forth with 100 meter range, a great gift for the kids for xmas.
Even if you are the only person on the planet without a phone, or you have a flip phone, you can still use THINGY! Buy 2, and then set them up to talk to each other, then your App can communicate to you directly by buzzing or flashing LED. (NOTE: THINGY has to be programmed with a smartphone or we can do it at the factory for you, you need only ask.)
So, when starting the design we kept scribbling ideas...
"WHAT IF THERE ARE NO RULES?" (we said)...What if we could create a simple low cost device that could be re-programed internally at the Microcontroller level (the brain) to comply with our every wish and use only one chip?
"There is no such device or technology! That's CRAZY!", ahhhh, yes indeed there is...In our design we are using the raw power of the BLUETOOTH Low-Energy PROGRAMMABLE SYSTEM on a CHIP (PSOC) from Cypress Semiconductor. This new to market chip is the answer to change the entire personality of THINGY. Many of us use Cypress Semiconductors products everyday, their products are in most phones and tablets today. With this technology a user can reprogram the Analog, Digitial, and Programmable Logic Blocks in the integrated circuit to match your ever whim. There is NO part like this in the industry and the Tool engineers use to create their designs is next to amazing! PSOC Creator Tool auto creates C code for the user. (No worries if your not technical, we do that part for you in the available App)
The key to Cypress' technology is reprogrammability! If you want to write your own Apps you may do so freely. And when I mean FREE, I mean the tools are FREE! Cypress PSOC CREATOR is a free online tool. You can create anything you want, plug into any device, and we give you a great development platform to get started (see TECH AREA). (Side Note - All graphics on this entire page where made with the Cypress Tool PSOC Creator, very easily). Its like playing with building blocks!
Where we are TODAY
We thought it best to show users our development platform used for THINGY so everyone can see the ease of use we are striving for in our apps.
THINGY paths to follow for the User
PATH 1 - Get your THINGY (#1 or #2 or #3)
Grab a THINGY, use it with your phone, use all its features and enjoy life and its many wonders while not worrying about how it works inside, other than its cool and you can say to your friends, "check out my THINGY!". We will have 100s of Apps for your THINGY. Select an App and THINGY will automatically reconfigure itself for you. All you have to do is run the App...so no worries!
PATH 2 - Engineering Bluetooth Dev Kit - Make your own application(s) In hardware and software.See Tech AREA below.
Dive into the technical area of the project and write your own Apps on your smartphone, reprogram the PSOC Bluetooth Radio, and/or interface to Arduino.
With the THINGY app you can setup many events or use our "CANNED" apps. For example, if you want a garage door App, just click on the App and go to bed with ease of mind. Or you can create your own event from the list of Feature Sets from the 3 THINGYs below.
We would like you to send us your Apps and we will gladly share them with everyone! All the software for the application side will be available for users to change and edit, have a great idea for an App? We would love to post it, with kudos to you of coarse. We have thought of 100s of Apps, every idea starts with, "Wow, now I can do this....", so send us your ideas and code, we will post them.
Feature Set : THINGY #1
THINGY1 has Bluetooth, can read Temperature, blink a multicolor Led, has 2 capsense touch buttons (there are no mechanical buttons in the device), can detect Motion, and will Buzz on command. Also with 2 Thingy1s you do NOT need your phone once they have been initially programmed. One would be placed into the Master mode the other in the Slave mode, no worries, we will have setup apps to download and program internal.
Feature set : THINGY #2
THINGY2 has Bluetooth, can read Temperature, blink a Multicolor LED, has 2 capsense touch buttons (there are no mechanical buttons in the device), can detect Motion, Buzz on command, Water detection, Proximity, Microphone, Speaker, Power Detection (detect if a space heater is left on), and Extra Storage Memory.
For example...Open Mic: listen in on those sneaky kids who are supposed to be sleeping or an inexpensive baby monitor. How about use the Current Detector to see if your space heater was left on.
Feature set : THINGY #3
THINGY #3 has all the features of THINGY 1 and 2 and it also includes Humidity sensing, the ability to drive a relay, attach a wire for Theft detection, also a AAA battery pack for extended use applications.
THINGY APP's (downloadable*)
- kitchen sink chemicals' door open
- firearm cabinet or safety box movement
- medicine cabinet
liquor cabinet or attached to the bottles
leak dishwasher, hot water tank, washer, sink detection
- Front porch security - microphone
door and window, gate, backside gate movement detection
- noise level detection
- Garage door open detection
- cash box lid open detection
- Place on child's clothing - set alarm for 10 feet or whatever distance parent
- Sump-pump, water pump failure detection
- moisture under house detection
- curling iron left on
- theft detection of an object
- current sensor for motion light
- Find grandpa's glass case
- Jacuzzi temperature
- Greenhouse humidity and temperature
- Find wife (if you want to)
- Put inside cooler to know when to add more ice
- Toggle a relay
- kids asleep in bed - use the microphone to listen in
- Baby Monitor - use the microphone to listen in
- Walkie-Talkie - Thingy to Thingy
- Xmas tree ornament
- Blinker for front porch - set to any Holiday color
- Buzzer when playing family time games
- Set to a specific time buzzer
- Timer for baking, kids homework or reading, and computer/gaming
- laundry finished text message
- locate TV remote, cell phone that is off and car keys
Monitor temperature of car for pets
- kids are arguing you can buzz them
- teach your young kids colors
- Monitor temperature of your warehouse
- Log when wine barrels (or products) are rotated
- Security (see security apps)
- Options are limitless
Leaking toilet in RV
- Leaking sink detection in RV
- Camper door open to detect theft
- Monitor temperature inside RV for pets
- Attach to boat to detect theft
- Eaves drop on the kids in the tent
- Tent light
- Temperature of tent
- Backpack locator when bear takes it (wait for bear to leave)
Ok, lets break down your TECH options....
NOTE : Datasheets, Applications Notes, Code Examples, everything you need for Development is on Cypress's website, links to follow in the FAQ area.
1. Buy a small Bluetooth LE module, aka Saber - $12.
Saber uses the popular HC-05 format, chosen to make development easy. Their are many development boards on the web for this format, many priced around $5-$10. Our blank dev board that Saber solders to is super low cost and has all the pins brought out for debug. We also decided to offer a USB option with Saber. If you wish to have USB, send us a note and we will have the part stuffed on the board. Its a an extra $2 for USB, which is a great deal.
2. TuskLC Arduino Bluetooth LE Dev Kit - Low Cost - $20
- 1 Saber Bluetooth Module
- Arduino Comparability
- Programming cable
Bare bones to keep your costs down and start having fun. (Note: you need the dev kit below in item #3 to program or debug, if you are a current PSOC user, and you have a programmer, then you are all good to go, if do not, please buy the kit FULL TUSK (item #3) below to get started.
3. Full Tusk Arduino Bluetooth LE Dev Kit platform, aka Tusk --- $35
Tusk Dev Kit has everything the engineer needs to do a Bluetooth LE design. Also, the hacker can add an optional THINGY, OLED, Bread boarding pins, and a future FANG Module (its a secret, SHHH !!!).
Tusk Dev Kit Includes:
- Saber Bluetooth Module
- Arduino Compatible Board (aka Tusk) for your Saber Module
- Interface cable to program your Saber module (from doggle)
- USB Dongle Debugger, shown below
4) HACK a THINGY
Take THINGY 1, 2, or 3 and write your own apps. This can be done easily as we provide a connection inside THINGY that allows you to easily reprogram the device. With the features that are inside THINGY, you can create your own applications using the hardware platform. An excellent platform for home hobbyist as all the sensor types are in a tiny package.
Our dev kit comes with everything you need to develop your own Apps.
Lets say you don't have the time to write your own App.no worries, we have a simple user interface to allow you to label an App and then setup your own conditions for the application. And poof, you made your own "DONT TOUCH MY STUFF" alarm that blasts out 85 db and blinks Police lights!
Why use CYPRESS BLUETOOTH Low Energy in the THINGY...?
For years Cypress Semiconductor has lead the industry in making a unique Microcontroller that has programmable digital, analog and logic blocks. This technology allowed users to interface to anything, and lower the overall product cost by integrating external components into the PSOC (Programmable System on a Chip).
As Cypress introduced more parts in parallel, the software tool PSOC Creator matured. Over 3 years old, this tool is now at the amazing stage. The speed and error less development effort that the user has is a fantastic user experience and its FREE.
With a normal chip manufacturer tool, you have to write or find the startup code, cut and paste, do quite a bit of change this and change that and, oh yes, then I need this code snippet. This can be quite time consuming and involve some late nights.
With PSOC Creater, the free online tool from Cypress Semiconductor, programming is done almost automatically, the startup code and some of the heavy lifting is performed from the tool. The entire goal is to allow you the user to quickly interface, do something creative or solve a design issue interfacing to 7 UARTS, for example. Here are some great videos that explain just some of the features and excellent overview. http://www.cypress.com/psocsoftware/?source=CY-ENG-HEADER
The ability to "do anything" is endless, the only limitation is your imagination. Lets say you are creating a home security system. Regardless which Main CPU you choose, you are going to have sensors and interfacing those can be tough without the correct logic levels.
The PSOC solves all these issues with the internal Analog Functions and your ability to route those functions to any pin quickly and easily.The Digital section assists you in getting the data into the realm that your Main CPU can understand. The Programmable logic section can assist in any glue logic along the way. ONE TOOL, ONE CHIP, 1000s of ideas.
$50K - More colors for your THINGY and an Integrated Dev Board for THINGY
$100K - 100 Fixed APPS on your Smart Phone, App Builder on your Phone for THINGY Apps. This will allow you to create your own apps without writing any code*.
$250K - Mesh Networking Software for your THINGY
Meet the designers
Kickstarters, thank you for you questions, comments and typos corrections. We need your honest feedback, as we are first timers, so the guidance is welcome. I will summarize the last 4 days on questions, I have had over 100 emails, to our website and Kickstarter, I have responded to everyone.
Data for FAQ
The Cypress datasheet
Capsense example from Cypress.
Risks and challenges
Our biggest challenge will be to boards built in time for Xmas gifts, the main part of the design is just starting to ship in high volume and the logistics to build many boards is complicated if parts are not available. I have been told by my suppliers that everything will be in full production by November. Our goal is to ship these for Christmas gifts, so clip your THINGY on the tree, set to blink, red then green...impress Grandma.
Timeline (many steps excluded, these are the main milestones)
1)Get funded on Kickstarter with your help
2) Main chip will ship Dec 1 from supplier
3) Kickstarter closes Dec 10th or so...
4) Get injected molded parts in for plastic cases
5) Assemble and build
4) Finish OS apps by Dec 15th.
5) Ship Sabers by Dec 18th for Xmas gifts
6) Our goal is to have all Kickstarter items available by end of January 2015.
- (35 days)