Updates!

Hi everyone,

Sorry for the lack of recent posts; we’ve been very busy behind the scenes!

Shipping

Please look out for your shipping confirmation this week via email. We believe Shela has been able to sort out most of the obvious errors with Perk selections at this point, but if there are any issues, please email us at contact [at] wimoto [dot] com. Please do not post any updates to your Perk selection on Indiegogo, Facebook, or Twitter.

For those who did not prepay shipping, there’s a link to settle your shipping costs.

If you have not received an email by the end of this week with your shipping confirmation, please email us! c6cc

Developing Apps With Wimoto

We’ve just published our first “Gist” on Github on how to access a Wimoto Climate using node.js + noble and subscribe to temperature updates via Bluetooth Low Energy notifications.

This is a good example of how powerful Bluetooth Low Energy is as a communications mechanism: instead of constantly polling the sensor, you can tell it you’re interested in only knowing when the temperature changes and it’ll “push” you a notification telling you so.

The example is here:

In the next couple of weeks, we’ll also be posting example apps for Android and iOS on Github for those who want a starting point to write their own mobile apps that use Wimoto sensors. The new website (which hopefully we can get up in the next 2-3 weeks) also has a full set of developer documentation, a Wiki, and a discussion forum.

Cloud Cube is dead: long live Nimbus!

The original concept we had, and told Indiegogo backers about, was a fairly simple, low-cost sensor to Internet bridge. Along the way, this morphed into Cloud Cube and the project became unwieldy, mostly due to the display. It also became apparent that:

(1) The display, whilst it had “wow factor”, wasn’t really that useful when people have smart devices. We tried both e-ink (EPD) displays and more recently colour LCDs with touch screens and both had challenges (the former was slow and ugly to update, but had good readability, the latter had poor readability in bright light, but had the advantage of colour).

(2)  The form factor, whilst attractive, was compromised by having to squeeze a display and a grill for air quality monitoring into the device. We lost the ability to attach it to a wall, which has it has become apparent is a great way to setup the gateways.

(3) The heavyweight Linux system-on-a-module we were using was driving up cost and complexity by itself. So, we’ve switched to a lighter weight (but still more than adequate) SoM.

While we were stealthily fixing these shortcomings of the Cloud Cube, it no longer became a cube shape, so we’ve given it a new name: Nimbus (as-in ‘cloud’).

Nimbus is a small (80*80*25mm) device that can live on a desk or be wall-mounted via the mounts on the back of its case. It has the same core functionality as the Cloud Cube did (BLE to Wifi gateway), has a local REST API so you can retrieve data about your sensors without having to transverse the Internet, and features air quality sensors on-board.

One of the neatest things about Nimbus is that you can configure it from our app via BLE in less than 30-seconds.

We hope you like where this has landed. Both the electronics and the plastics are in the process of being manufactured, and we’re aiming to have them in your hands within 6-8 weeks and we sincerely thank you for your patience with this part of the project — but we think you’ll be gearing a great product!

IMG_2532 Cloud Cube 2

17 comments

  1. Mark Trickey · ·

    Great update, I’m psyched to get one in my hands. I’m cool with the way the cube has played out. I hope so anyway because I believe I have a couple coming 🙂

    One feature that I hope will remain with Nimbus is the ability to be hackable. Of course I will always only be using wimoto sensors 🙂 but it would be awesome if the nimbus could subscribe to other properly configured BLE devices.

    1. Hi Mark!

      I’ll write another update on Nimbus tomorrow that will speak to its hackability — it’s hackable from both a hardware and software perspective. Both for the casual hobbyist and system integrators.

      1. chrisbartley · ·

        Awesome.

        I may be an oddball, but I was pretty excited about the screen on the cloud cube. Being able to see status at a glance is a nice feature and faster than pulling out my phone, unlocking, finding the app, etc. Same goes for, say, my Philips Hue lightbulbs. Love them, but it’s a drag to have to use an app to turn on and off (which is no doubt why Philips will be introducing Hue Tap later this summer). The Netatmo also suffers from a lack of easy and obvious visual feedback.

        This may become less of a concern for me if there’s a Nimbus notification center widget for iOS 8, but, for now, here’s hoping the Nimbus will be hackable enough to add a screen. 🙂

        Glad to hear the Nimbus will include air quality sensors in the stock config, rather than as an add-on card (as was the original plan, right?). I look forward to more details about the air quality sensors and the rest of the specs in general. Thanks!

      2. There’s a boatload of connectivity on Nimbus….there’re actually three “Hack Me” connectors 😉

  2. When will the “apps” be available?

    1. The iOS app is going through some final user experience testing this week, and then we’ll (at last) submit it for App Store approval.

      The Android app is taking shape, it’s basically as much of a clone of the iOS app as is technically possible, and should only be a few weeks away.

      The iOS app technically supports iOS 6.x still (although works better on iOS 7+). Android app requires Android 4.4 *and* hardware that supports BLE natively via the Google APIs.

      1. Will the “motes” be usable without the apps?

      2. If you mean, “can I access them with my own code?” — the answer is yes. See the node.js example from this post. We’ll have examples for iOS and Android soon, too and doing this in Python, from the Linux command line, or from a Mac is fairly straightforward for those who can program (or Google 🙂 ).

      3. Martin Samuelsson · ·

        While BLE is an obvious reason not to support any Android before 4.3, what in the app makes it necessary to support only 4.4 and later? Could it be available for 4.3, too, possibly with some functionality unavailable?

        /Signed “4.3 user with BLE hardware”

      4. Hi Martin,

        I did of course mean 4.3, but my brain and fingers didn’t cooperate! Sorry for that and thanks for catching that.

        -m

  3. David Durdan · ·

    A second on the great update. I am looking forward to getting my cube and sensors.

    One comment – I already have a Nimbus setup in my environment – it is the Quirky Nimbus (https://www.quirky.com/shop/596) which provides the dashboard features. When I started reading the update, I thought you had aligned behind Quirky to provide the “display” features (which might be possible in either scenario, especially based on how you are enabling services on it). However, you might need to look at a different name.

    1. I agree, I thought they were talking about the Quirky Nimbus so I ordered one. Guwss it will be sent back.

      1. Sorry about that!.

    2. Hi David,

      Thanks for pointing that out….even thought they’re somewhat different devices, we’re considering a new name to avoid the confusion!

  4. Mario Lurig · ·

    Happy to hear about Nimbus! I’m guessing it will ship separately from the sensors for those who backed it, or will the sensors + Nimbus ship together later?
    I mostly ask since I’m moving in a month and I’m a Nimbus backer.

    1. Mario Lurig · ·

      Follow-up: Should I just switch my address (using the original link/email for doing so) to my PO Box?

      1. Hi Mario, you should email us at contact at Wimoto dot com. Thx!

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