MindStream Aquarium Monitor
A revolutionary new way to automatically monitor up to 10 aquarium water parameters in real time so you can relax and enjoy your tank.
MindStream Aquarium Monitor
A revolutionary new way to automatically monitor up to 10 aquarium water parameters in real time so you can relax and enjoy your tank.
NOTE: Please see the FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS section at the bottom of this page for more information about the MindStream monitor and our Kickstarter campaign.
To Our Supporters
After over three years of intense development, our dream of bringing the MindStream™ monitor to you is nearing completion. We've overcome some very significant technical hurdles in R&D, protected our technology with extensive patent filings, conducted in-depth market research, and improved our communications with you through a new Web site, Facebook page, and Twitter account. We know it's been a long wait for many of you and we are extremely grateful for your patience and supportive words over the years.
Now we are in a strong position to ask for and use your help. We are currently finalizing product design, conducting internal testing, designing product packaging, ordering long lead time parts, setting up manufacturing, building a customer service organization, and keeping up with expensive patent filings. We are confident that we have a solid product that will make keeping a saltwater aquarium much more enjoyable, but have a little ways to go before releasing the MindStream monitor to market.
Please help us finally get this product to market by participating in our Kickstarter campaign. With our rewards, we have worked hard to make sure there is something in here for everyone. We are very excited to be launching this campaign and look forward to having you be a part of this revolutionary step forward in keeping healthy fish and coral!
The MindStream Monitor
The MindStream monitor provides a fully automated solution for saltwater aquarists to perpetually monitor and balance up to 10 vital water parameters – the key to keeping fish and corals healthy. This revolutionary new product provides the most accurate, convenient, and reliable way to maintain balance in aquarium water. And while the MindStream monitor lives in your tank, it is chemically neutral and completely harmless to your precious fish and coral.
Key Product Features
- Automatic, ongoing monitoring of up to ten critical water parameters necessary for the health of your fish and coral.
- A single automated, accurate, and consistent monitoring device.
- Parameter data is captured and uploaded every 15 minutes.
- Eliminates the need for intermittent, unreliable manual testing: just replace one disk in the monitor every 30 days for optimum accuracy.
- Ability to view historical parameter data graphs and trends.
- Ability to set acceptable individual water parameter ranges and receive automated alerts when customized optimum ranges are exceeded.
- Ability to annotate parameter charts and graphs with custom messages.
- Easy to install and set-up.
- No calibration required.
- Automatic firmware updates pushed to your MindStream monitor via the cloud/network.
Benefits to You
- Peace of mind that your fish and coral are healthy.
- Radically reduced time devoted to testing water.
- One-tenth the cost of comparable test strip, liquid reagent, and ISE electrode based testing approaches.
- Reduced fish and coral losses, and a corresponding benefit to coral reefs and fish stocks.
- And ultimately, stress-free aquarium ownership and enjoyment.
We are currently wrapping up a multi-phase market research effort to better understand how to make the MindStream monitor the best possible product for you. We therefore have not finalized all pricing for the monitor or the replaceable sensor discs. We are working to make our products as affordable as possible, while making sure we have the resources to provide the best possible customer service and continue with our ambitious research and development efforts. Our best estimation at this point for product pricing is as follows:
- MindStream monitor and initial replaceable sensor disc: in the $700-900 range retail.
- Replaceable sensor discs: $34.95 assuming an annual subscription with automatic disc delivery and automatic monthly debit payment. This is a discounted price from the price of individual discs, which will be available for purchase on our Web site. We recommend that the disc be replaced at least every 30 days in order to maintain optimal accuracy.
MindStream in the News
- Cayuga Aquatics Blog by Steve Lowes, Ph.D., "The Future of Reef Water Testing," August 30, 2015: http://blog.cayugaaquatics.com/?p=127
- Engineering Magazine by Tom Spendlove, "MindStream Monitors, Tracks, and Stores Ten Aquarium Water Parameters," August 14, 2015: http://www.engineering.com/DesignerEdge/DesignerEdgeArticles/ArticleID/10528/MindStream-Monitors-Tracks-and-Stores-Ten-Aquarium-Water-Parameters.aspx
- Reef Builders by Jake Adams,"Answers to the Top 10 Questions About the MindStream Aquarium Monitor," July 30, 2015: http://reefbuilders.com/2015/07/29/answers-top-10-questions-mindstream/
- Reef Builders by Jake Adams, "Video Tear-down of the MindStream Monitor," July 29, 2015: http://reefbuilders.com/2015/07/30/video-teardown-mindstream-aquarium-monitor/
- Reef Builders by Jake Adams, "10 Innovations of the MindStream Aquarium Monitor," August 7, 2015: http://reefbuilders.com/2015/08/07/10-innovations-mindstream-aquarium-monitor/
- Fox News Online by Molly Dodd, "How Technology is Building the Aquarium of the Future," August 6, 2015: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2015/08/06/how-technology-is-building-aquarium-future/
- Reef Nation by Justin Hester, "MindStream Video Demo, Part 1," August 6, 2015: http://www.reefnation.com/mindstream-video-demo-part-1/
- Reef Nation by Justin Hester, "MindStream Video Demo, Part 2," August 9, 2015: http://www.reefnation.com/mindstream-demo-part-2/
- Advanced Aquarist by Leonard Ho, "MindStream Aquarium Monitoring System Nearing Release," July 27, 2015: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/blog/mindstream-aquarium-water-monitoring-system-nearing-release
All of our research and testing results so far gives us great confidence that the MindStream monitor will be able to measure each of the following parameters at least as accurately as, and certainly more reliably than, common aquarium test methods (test kits, titration, and photometer).
We have numerous additional parameters helpful to saltwater and freshwater aquarists alike undergoing development and testing that we plan to release in the future. We have strong indications that we will be able to release future versions of the sensor discs that will make the MindStream monitor even more powerful. Since new sensor discs will work on existing monitors, your initial MindStream monitor investment will be protected well into the future.
Comparison to Current Methods
The MindStream monitor represents a significant leap forward in maintaining aquarium water since it is capable of accurately measuring up to 10 critical parameters in one sophisticated scientific instrument. The chart below compares current test methods with the advanced parameter monitoring and other features of the MindStream monitor.
How It Works
The diagram and video below should give you a good idea of how the MindSteam monitor works, and how easy it is to set up and use.
If you'd like to take a deeper dive and learn more about how the MindStream monitor works, we invite you to view the video below.
How Accurate Is It?
Initially, our goal has been to develop a product that is at least as accurate as current aquarium testing methods such as test kits, titration kits, and photometers. In the long run however, we are confident that our core sensor technology is capable of achieving much higher levels of accuracy and repeatability. This is based on the research we have conducted (and are conducting) on our advanced fluorescence and colorimetric sensor technology. Since these technologies have been adapted from those already in use in the medical field for many years, the core sensor technology is already proven to be highly accurate.
One example is the testing we have been conducting with the pH sensor on the MindStream monitor. As you may know, pH is critical to maintaining reef tank stability. We use our pH, CO2, temperature, and salinity measurements to accurately calculate alkalinity (arguably one of the most important parameters). In order to set the bar as high as possible, we have been testing the MindStream monitor against a $12,500 marine grade instrument from Sunburst Sensors called the Sunburst AFT-pH. It's used in very high precision oceanographic research and represents the “gold standard” in measuring pH. In fact, Sunburst Sensors was recently named as the winner of the $2 million global Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE competition for the most accurate and precise pH sensors in measuring ocean chemistry out of 24 competing teams!
The chart below shows nearly a full month of actual data from benchmark testing the MindStream monitor vs. the Sunburst AFT-pH system. Note these tests were performed in a test aquarium (no fish/coral) and we purposely initially varied pH levels widely to put the sensor through its paces.
Even when we did fast additions of CO2 or alkalinity in the early stages of the test, results from the MindStream monitor track the Sunburst instrument very closely. The chart below indicates the variance between the two measurements over the same time period. As a point of reference, the National Bureau of Standards can calibrate pH solutions to about +\-0.01 pH which represents the limits of extreme accuracy in measuring pH (the narrow light blue band on the chart). Experienced reef aquarists know that pH accuracy in the +/- 0.1pH range is sufficient to maintain a healthy tank (the wider darker blue band on the chart).
These results clearly indicate the MindStream monitor is capable of tracking very closely to a sophisticated instrument that claims ultra-high accuracy. We are in the process of also tracking the MindStream monitor CO2 sensor against a similar precision instrument from Sunburst sensors.
We know it's been a long wait for the MindStream monitor and many of you have been anxious to put it to work for your fish and coral. So, we'd like to share with you some of the groundbreaking technology we've deployed to make the MindStream monitor the most helpful, accurate, and reliable device it can be for your tank:
- Advanced fluorescence and colorimetric sensor technology adapted from the medical field.
- Ultra-sensitive optical measurement circuits for measuring the fluorescence response of the indicator dyes.
- Space age plastics that virtually eliminate moisture penetration and prolong the useful life of the monitor in sea water (and reduce organic matter buildup on surfaces).
- Laser welding techniques as the optimal method for bonding space age plastics and optical components.
- Custom optical filtering that enables high accuracy and resolution in measuring essential water parameters.
- RFID tags on the MindStream sensor discs for unique identification and automatic download of calibration data in the field.
- Inductive power technology that enables power to be transmitted through aquarium glass up to ¾ thick and eliminates wires in your tank.
- Highly reliable, scalable, and secure Microsoft Azure-based cloud servers for customer profiles, parameter algorithm computations, tank databases, and out of range alerts.
- Customer device user interface built on the latest HTML-5 and CSS3 platforms with compilation into native apps for iPhone, Android and Windows.
Rewards for You
As a big THANK YOU for helping us get the MindStream monitor to market, we've prepared the following rewards for you. Whether you are looking to be among the first to own a MindStream monitor, interested in some MindStream swag, or passionate about supporting our marine conservation efforts, we think you will find something you like here. Note also that there is a reward for those of you interested in being a U.S. Beta Tester!
You will notice our MindStream monitor Kickstarter shipments are projected to begin in December and continue well into next year as we reliably expand our production capacity. There are two reward options in this category: 1) a MindStream monitor and sensor disc, and 2) a MindStream monitor/disc, plus an annual subscription (12 monthly discs) mailed directly to you. Also note that there is a first mover advantage as initial reward pledges for these two options increase beginning with the March shipments. THANK YOU for supporting us and remember that you can always contribute a larger amount than the suggested pledge if you really want to help!
Given a successful Kickstarter campaign, we will invest your contributions wisely in completing the product, setting up a high volume, high quality manufacturing process, and getting the product to you as soon as possible. The following chart summarizes our planned activities in the coming months.
Thank you sincerely for helping us with this campaign. We look forward to delivering you an accurate, reliable MindStream monitor that will relieve you from the tedious tasks of water testing and enable you to really relax and enjoy your beautiful tank!
Jim, Giuseppe, Matt, Brian, Jason, and Veronique.
Risks and challenges
As with any innovative technical start-up company, we face ongoing risks and challenges. They include the following:
BREADTH OF PARAMETERS – We have specified a list of ten water parameters for the initial MindSteam monitor that we are very confident will be measured at least as accurately as common aquarium test methods. However, there is risk that during our additional internal and beta testing procedures that we identify an issue that cannot be solved before product launch.
PRODUCT ENHANCEMENTS – As we complete our product testing, we may identify areas where the product should be improved to make it the best possible solution for you. Additional modifications to the monitor or sensor disc could cause delays. But we would only make changes if they were of significant benefit to you our customers.
BUILDING OUR TEAM – As we begin to transition from a primarily R&D organization to a high performing company capable of delivering great products and providing excellent customer service, we will need to add numerous talented people to our team. Once our Kickstarter campaign is successful, we will retain the services of a human resources advisor to help recruit and retain the best people for our company (and for you).
MATERIALS SUPPLY – While many of the components in the monitor are off the shelf, some of them are highly specialized and we have worked with suppliers to develop new capabilities in support of our goal to provide accurate and reliable parameter readings. We have already developed supply agreements with most of our key suppliers and a few more are in the works. There is always a risk that parts are not delivered to us on schedule so we are working with our suppliers to order long lead time parts well ahead of time.
SETTING UP MANUFACTURING – The MindStream monitor is a highly sophisticated electronic device. Setting up a high quality manufacturing operation capable of scaling to meet uncertain demand will be a challenge. However, several of our team members have extensive high tech manufacturing experience that will serve us well. We already have a highly qualified ISO 9001 certified local electronics manufacturer with decades of experience lined up to produce the printed circuit board and most of the monitor. We are also in the process of designing fixtures and tools to help with the rest of the high precision monitor assembly. We are also working on automated methods and equipment to support high volume sensor disc manufacturing but we are in the early stages of these developments.
LAUNCH TIMING – We are highly confident that the MindStream monitor will meet our performance goals for the product. However, given the uncertainties associated with the remaining test procedures, ordering long lead time parts, and building production capacity, we cannot predict the precise timing of product launch and shipments to customers. We will not release the product until we are absolutely sure it is accurate, reliable, and easy to use. If we anticipate that we will not make our forecasts, we will let you know as soon as possible.
Any pledge amount brings us one step closer to our goal of bringing the MindStream monitor to you. Help us by clicking the “BACK THIS PROJECT” button at the top of the page, or by helping us spread the word by sharing our page. THANK YOU!
- (41 days)