node modular sensor system
original content
mar 15, 2012
node modular sensor system


‘node’ modular sensor system by variable technologies

developed by chinese-born, US-based engineer george yu and variable technologies, ‘node’ is a modular sensor system,
interfacing via bluetooth with smartphones and tablets to provide information customized to the user’s needs.
the basic ‘node’ device contains a gyroscope, magnetometer, and accelerometer, as well as an audio buzzer
and two dimmable blue LEDs. at either end, a small cap can be added that contains an additional sensor,
letting users interchange pieces to fit diverse situations. current caps include ‘luma’ which contains 8 LEDs
that can be set individually to turn on or off or in custom patterns; and ‘clima’, which senses barometric pressure,
wind speed, temperature, and humidity. modules planned for future release include an infrared thermometer
and radiation detector. in addition, after the original ‘node’ kickstarter run, the company is planning to release
a set of gas sensing modules called ‘oxa’ for the device, each capable of detecting levels of a different gas
like carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, chlorine, nitric oxide, hydrogen, or sulfur dioxide.

the range of sensor modules permit ‘node’ to be used as a flashlight (that can be turned on from afar via smartphone),
motion-based remote control, a digital level, or information source.


kickstarter promotional video for the project

‘node’ connects via bluetooth (and bluetooth low energy with enabled smartphones) to android and iOS smartphones and tablets,
including the new iPad (3), visualizable and controllable from dedicated apps.

the device features its own arduino-compatible API and open firmware to let users invent new ways of controlling its behaviour.
the project is currently seeking kickstarter funding at ‘node: a modular sensor powerhouse‘, through march 23rd, 2012.


demo of the use of ‘node’ with iPhone as a bike-mounted information display


part-by-part look at the construction of ‘node’


concept diagrams – the to-be-released ‘oxa’ system of sensing modules detect levels of particular gases in the air

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