Tech Marinade
Uncovering Hidden Innovation in DIY Electronics
MetaWear: Make Wearables in 30 Minutes or Less!
by Ryan Sailor ▪ 4.1.2014 News

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You can’t send an Arduino to production, but you can send a MetaWear!

A new Kickstarter by the team at mbientlab (mbientlab.com) features a device that promises to cut prototyping times and hardware development costs for hardware projects. Their device, the MetaWear, is a small development board, 17mm by 26 mm in size, that packs a Cortex-M0 microcontroller and Bluetooth 4.0. A simple API for iOS and Android makes it easy to utilize the MetaWear without writing a line of firmware.

The Mbientlab team launched a Kickstarter for their previous product, the Cubit, back in October. They learned the hard way that crowdfunding can fall short of goals if the product does not fit the market in just the right way. This did not discourage Laura Kassovic or Matt Baker, co-founders of Mbientlab, who saw an opportunity in using a generalized version of the Cubit’s electronics to create a device that could drastically speed up development time and reduce costs for many hardware startups. A few iterations later, the MetaWare was born.

Mbientlab wants the MetaWear to remove the hassle of hardware design so they designed it to be fully cost-optimized and production ready. Unlike an Arduino and breadboard prototype, the MetaWear needs no re-design after the prototyping stage and can be used in products that are ready-to-ship. Ideally, anyone can use Bluetooth Low Energy technology in their designs without the need of a professional electrical engineer.

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Mooshimeter Is the Multimeter We Always Wanted
by Ryan Sailor ▪ 1.9.2014 News

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We took a look at innovative multimeters at the Maker Faire in New York in September when we previewed the Voltset, a smartphone based multimeter.

As I said in the Voltset preview, multimeters have not changed in design for a few decades. You might question why a design that works should be altered, but a new project on Dragon Innovation’s crowd funding website will definitely leave you wondering what other tools need a modern retouch.

That project is the Mooshimeter by Mooshim Engineering.

Like the Voltset, the Mooshimeter plans to take advantage of modern smart devices to expand the capabilities of traditional multimeters. By shifting the burden of display and control to another device, the Mooshim team could afford to make improvements in other areas of the Mooshimeter. While the Voltset makes a convenient pocket-sized multimeter to carry anywhere and take any sort of measurement, the Mooshimeter is a rugged data-collection device, designed to be placed in tight spaces or hard to reach places (where no multimeter has gone before!).

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Sphero 2.0: Gyroscopic Robot Brings VR Into the Real World
by Ryan Sailor ▪ 9.28.2013 News

Sphero might possibly be my new favorite toy.  It’s a robot, a controller, and a virtual reality game all wrapped in one.  When we caught site of it at the Maker Faire in New York, Kyle and I knew we had to write an article on it.  Of course we had to try it out, too.

It's like a hamster ball without the hamster.

Major Ramp Action.  This ball has some horsepower.

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VoltSet: A Smart Multimeter For Smart Phones
by Ryan Sailor ▪ 9.25.2013 News

Most engineers are familiar with the multimeter, a rather ubiquitous tool in any laboratory recognizable for its brick-like shape and radial mode selector.

Turn my dial, baby.

Your standard day-to-day multimeter.  Look at that dial-turning action. source: Buzzle

Multimeter design has been somewhat of a stagnant craft, the basic look and layout being maintained for a several decades.  A company we met at Maker Faire New York is bringing multimeter design into the 21st century.

Making smart phones even smarter

The Mega-VoltSet connects to your smartphone.

That company is VoltSet (@Voltset), lead by Tom Wang.  He’s on a mission to make the multimeter sexy, modern, and accessible.  His line of VoltSet multimeters accomplishes this by reducing the size of the hardware and connecting to a smartphone which provides a friendly user interface.

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