About this project
The SmartScope combines 3 high-end instruments into 1 mobile, smart device. Accessible previously only to high-tech labs, the SmartScope allows everyone to own a personal lab!
Starring a dual-channel 100MS/s oscilloscope, the SmartScope is the world's first lab instrument which works on both PC, laptop, tablet and smartphone. This is a must-have for any maker, and for anybody involved in hardware development!
Tech Marinade: “Smart All-In-One Tool For Makers”
The Mac Observer: “Want to Turn Your iPad or iPhone into an Oscilloscope?”
Geeky Gadgets: “100MS/s Open Source SmartScope Oscilloscope For Your Tablet”
OpenElectronics: “SmartScope is reinventing the oscilloscope in Open Source”
Key Product Highlights
- 2x100MS/s 45MHz Oscilloscope
- 50MS/s Arbitrary Waveform Generator
- Digital logic analyzer at 100MS/s
- Digital waveform generator at 100MS/s
- 200 waveforms/second data updates
Make sure to check out this movie, where we show the current status of the SmartScope:
By giving full access to the framework of the SmartScope, a whole new dimension of possibilities is opening up. In its most basic form, this open framework allows you to hook up your creation to the extension ports of the SmartScope and control it from your PC or smartphone.
When you're taking on more advanced projects, you'll appreciate the full access you have to the powerful FPGA. The framework is based on FPGA registers which you can control from the PC or tablet, giving you full control over your FPGA from the first moment you're starting. Even more, since you can flash the FPGA through the USB controller, you don't need to invest in expensive programmers!
Even more advanced projects can make use of the full-speed bi-directional data transfer capabilities, transferring data to or from your device.
Initially, all source files of the full framework will be presented as a git repository, together with additional repositories focusing on extremely simple samples, showing how to start developing for each of the components of the SmartScope. This will hopefully create community branches, which will be added to our community site.
Why do you need a SmartScope?
An oscilloscope is the basic measurement device for anyone involved in hardware tinkering: it allows you to see how the voltage behaves at any point in your design, at any moment in time. Much like a breakpoint in software, which allows you to verify the value of all variables at a certain moment in time. The SmartScope should be the tool to optimize the debugging and development of your project.
SmartScope should appeal to:
- Arduino, Raspberry Pi & DIY enthusiasts: having access to an oscilloscope will greatly reduce your debugging time, as now you can literally see what's happening.
- Makers: using the open-source framework, you can use the SmartScope to control your inventions from your smartphone!
- Students & Teachers: combining an oscilloscope, AWG and logic analyzer into a single mobile device makes the SmartScope a great addition to any student lab desk. Its open-source framework can serve both as example, as well as starting place for your code. You're encouraged to publish working projects on our community page at www.lab-nation.com!
- Professional hardware engineers: even though this page is strongly aimed towards makers and hardware enthusiast, the SmartScope was born from an analysis of what performance is required to visualize any job but the extreme high-end -- such as DDR or RF implementations. Therefore, we're sure that any electronics engineer will appreciate the combination of performance and versatility offered by the SmartScope.
Compatibility - Cross Platform
We're proud to announce that the SmartScope is the world's first instrument to work on iOS, Android, Windows, Linux and OSX! This true cross-platform-compatibility was achieved by choosing for the Xamarin framework from the very beginning of UI development. As a result, the SmartScope works on virtually all PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones.
Graphical User Interface
On all existing USB oscilloscopes, the software clearly has been an afterthought. Not so for the SmartScope! While competitors try to imitate traditional scopes by literally demanding the user to rotate knobs with a mouse, the SmartScope reinvents the way we will operate oscilloscopes: by making full use of the touchscreen!
The PC software is identical to the mobile version. With intuitive operations (scroll to zoom or simply drag a rectangle, dragging to reposition) and innovative features (window pops to foreground on trigger) it's our mission to continually provide you with the software you need to aid your projects.
Why is the cost so low?
It's LabNation's vision to open up the market of professional electronics measurement equipment to everyone. At $179 we believe there's no one out there offering a comparable scope. If you add the AWG, logic analyzer capabilities, intuitive software AND pioneering Android/iOS support, it is clear that the price could have been far higher.
By giving everyone access to a quality development and debugging instrument, we hope to contribute to the increasing speed at which amazing projects are making the transition from ideas to prototypes!
Will the SmartScope work on my smartphone/tablet?
The SmartScope is the world's first instrument targeting compatibility with both iOS and Android. Although the required functionality (USB-OTG) is becoming a standard for Android devices the past few years, we were not able to get cooperation from Apple (yet ;). As such, our team set out to start from jailbroken iOS devices, and hack our way to the USB controller, which we eventually succeeded in. However, this means the SmartScope will only be recognized in case you apply a jailbreak patch to your iOS smartphone (which is a free, legal software operation that takes 10 minutes of your time).
On Android, USB-OTG is supported since Android v3.1, however it depends on the age and quality of your phone whether USB-OTG was implemented correctly. There are sites describing how to check for USB-OTG functionality, in case you want to be sure.
- Windows: driver available for XP, Win7, Win8
- OSX: supported, no driver needed (uses generic USB driver)
- Linux: supported, no driver needed (uses generic USB driver)
- Android: tested and verified on $52 Q88 tablet, Sony Xperia Z. More will be tested soon, but no problems expected as phones/tablets either support USB openly or not.
- iOS: requires 5-minute legal software jailbreak patch. Tested and verified on iPad1, iPad2, iPhone 5, iPhone 5S. Will not work on iPhones 1,2,3 as they simply don't have a USB chip.
The Power/Sync port is nothing more than a microUSB port, whose purpose is twofold:
- In case your tablet/smartphone is running low on battery, you can power the SmartScope through this port. This can be done using any standard microUSB charger cable.
- More advanced, we have foreseen the possibility to connect multiple SmartScopes together. In such case, synchronisation between the different SmartScopes is essential. This can be achieved easily by connecting both devices through their Power/Sync port using the cable provided in the 4-channel reward package.
Key members at January 2014:
- Riemer Grootjans: Ex-whiz-kid Riemer always believed he would be a game developer, until his master thesis convinced him of the beauty of electronics. After going for a PhD on real-time 3D cameras, he co-founded a company designing 3D cameras now distributed by several major California-based companies. As such, he had the rare opportunity to lead a hardware patent from prototype to mass-production. At the same time, he created the largest site with tutorials on XNA, reaching more than 7000 daily pageviews and 2000 registered community members. Additionally, Riemer authored 3 books on XNA with positive reviews. He received the Microsoft MVP award in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
- Prof. Maarten Kuijk: Maarten is the live version of Wikipedia of Electronics. His research project have resulted in two spin-offs which have grown to a total of 120 employees, of which one has recently been acquired by Microchip in November 2013. Nevertheless, he stays true to his passion: teaching parttime classes as Professor to Master students in Electronical Engineering at the University of Brussels. Maarten acts as mentor to the SmartScope project.
- Glan Li: Born and educated in China, Glan was intrigued by the fundamental beauty of electronics. After finishing his Master in Electronical Engineering and working on various electronical projects, Glan was given responsability over a production line assembling more than 1 million camera devices per month. As such, he carries a wealth of experience in the areas of manufacturing and quality assurance.
- Bruno Buyssens: After obtaining a Master in Business Engineering, Bruno pursued several technical jobs before refocusing towards marketing. He joined Sony and quickly moved towards Key Account Manager, dealing with distributors on a daily basis. Next to that, Bruno is well-known in the entrepreneurial scene, constantly looking for new business ideas and eager to launch his own start-up. With LabNation, he is looking forward to take a more leading role.
Where we are today
After about a year of research and development, we produced the first prototype in March 2013, a second version in August and third one in October. In November a small batch of 10 final products was produced in China under Glan's approving eye.
Thanks to the early production of 10 fully operational SmartScopes we now can say that everything is in place to start up full production -- what we're missing at this point is your strong backing to put the SmartScope into production. Software is feature-complete and validated to stream data on all platforms, while we keep developing to bring it closer to a first distributable version.
We didn't want to launch our Kickstarter before having a fully working and validated product. This took us more than a year and 3 iterations, but at this moment we have produced 10 fully functioning SmartScopes, meaning the SmartScope is ready to put into production.
However, we are planning one additional iteration after the end of our campaign: this allows us to include the best and most interesting ideas coming from your comments. After all, who knows how far possible stretch goals could take us? :)
Risks and challenges
When bringing a hardware product from idea to reality, it is easy to think about what the product should and shouldn't do. However, when it comes to manufacturing, there are many more things to take into account: suppliers, reliability tests, calibration, production and certification all require experience and dedication.Therefore, it is no surprise that many hardware projects are facing delays, especially in the later phases of production. Here are the main root causes of such delays, and how we are preventing them:
- Need for more iterations.
Many projects launch their Kickstarter campaign based on a first working prototype. Not so for the SmartScope: we are showing you fully functional and validated prototypes, which took us 3 iterations.
- Link with the Factory.
We are happy to have Glan in our team with who we have been working for several years, bringing us the invaluable manufacturing experience.
Before you can ship out products,, it is legally required to go through a full list of challenging certifications. We are lucky yo have specialists in our team that have taken the lead in the whole certification process of USB devices.
No worries. Simply adjust your pledge to the sum of all the rewards you would like to have. After this Kickstarter campaign has ended, we will send around a Kickstarter-based survey using which you can fill exactly all items you expect.
Sure! Adjust your pledge by what you would expect to be the total amount. In the survey following after the Kickstarter, you can specify exactly which items you want. If afterwards we notice something doesn't match, we'll contact you.
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