Development Progress

Nanospark: Alert Notifications

Nanospark: Alert Notifications

And it’s here! We’ve added alert notifications to the free Nanospark Controller App.  Alerts are especially useful when combined with the scheduling and remote monitor/control features already part of the Controller App. We setup alerts to be simple to configure.  Here are some of the key configuring options: – Schedule the days/times when the alert should be monitoring – Watch any of the 24 analog or digital inputs/outputs on the Nanospark Controller – Send alert simultaneously to multiple contacts – Customize the alert message What’s so great about using Nanospark Alerts?  1. Watch exactly what you need to watch in your facility.    Since the heart of Nanospark is a 5V control board you can wire nearly any type of sensor or switch to it.  This means you can have one input monitoring your compressor, another your water heater, another your loading dock door.  The same Nanospark watching up to 14 different types of situations to keep your operation running smoothly and safely. I might add that since Nanospark interacts with such a wide variety of sensors, components are much less expensive than similar automation products intended for the residential market. 2. Receive alerts wherever you are.  The alerts are sent via text message so as long as you have a phone signal you’ll be in touch with your equipment.  The generic nature of text message is an advantage here.  Regardless your phone type or even how “smart” (or not) your phone is you’ll receive the alert.   Contact us to discuss how to use Nanospark Alert Notifications in your facility or order one and put it to use (I hope you’ll let us know how you used it). These are some screenshots of the Alerts feature:             ...

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Digital Timer Switch Comparison Chart

Digital Timer Switch Comparison Chart

As we prepared to focus on promoting Nanospark as a digital timer for equipment, we accumulated a fair amount of data about other digital timers on the market.  We’ve compressed the data down to key features, and represented it in a comparison chart. We hope this will help you see the value of Nanospark for your timing needs.   There are a couple things from the above chart worth expanding on.  First is the interface.  Most of the digital timers have a seven segment display (that is a small LCD screen) and then 6 to 9 buttons to cycle through menus and setup programs.   Nanospark is a true touch screen- using an app on a tablet, smartphone or iPod touch as the interface.  This makes programming schedules simple to learn and easy to setup. Next, take note of the remote override feature.  Though given the same label, Nanospark’s remote override is quite different from Tork’s.  Tork includes a remote override switch that can be installed anywhere within a facility and then wired back to the timer with a control wire (small gauge, low-voltage).  So the “remote” switch is still somewhere within wiring distance. Contrast that with Nanospark’s remote override which is through text message.  Nanospark uses a service called Twilio which, for $20 or less a year, allows you to  check on the status of all equipment wired to the timer (individually or systemically).  Then with a text message turn equipment on or off thereby overriding the current schedule. Of course, we can’t neglect the bottom line.  Nanospark excels when we look at number of circuits (or outputs) for the price.  Timers in the same price range as Nanospark only have one or two circuits; Nanospark has 10.  Without Nanospark, to get that many channels- that many pieces of equipment controlled by one timer- you’re looking at 3 to 10 times the cost of Nanospark. We’d love to hear from you too.  What features do you find important for your equipment timers?  What features are missing that you would love to have (we many just build it for you)? If you prefer to make your own in-depth comparison, you may appreciate the following links to the product pages on the various timers: Nanospark Universal Equipment Timer Intermatic ET8215B Tork ELC series Omron H5F Tork E Series Intermatic...

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Industrial Equipment Timer | Now Available

Industrial Equipment Timer | Now Available

Universal Equipment Timer Package We proudly announce the release of two complete packages to help you put the power of Nanospark to good use.  We’re calling them Universal Timer Package 2 and 4.  They’re “Universal” in that the relays included in the package will allow you to easily connect Nanospark to all sorts of machines. The package includes an iPod touch 4th Generation with the Nanospark Controller App and the Colour Detector app installed and ready to use.  You’ll like how easy it is to program schedules using the Controller App.  For instance, choosing the dates for your program to run is done with a rolling wheel selection.  With the slide of your finger on the screen, assign which output(s) are run by the program. Run several outputs with the same schedule, or create a new schedule for each output.  There is no limit to how many schedules you can make for Nanospark’s 10 outputs (8 digital and 2 analog ). Learn more about this Universal Timer. Contact us if you have questions or to order your equipment timer package, (715)...

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Industrial Controller Package

Industrial Controller Package

Industrial Controller Package One of the advantages of using Nanospark is the abundance of used, and hence inexpensive, Apple devices on the market. The iPod touch 4, iPhone 3 and 4 for instance have plenty of processing power and features to make the equipment you’ve attached to your Nanospark very smart.  Being older models they can be purchased from Amazon, eBay and many other sites at great prices.  We’ve made use of several of these devices for in house projects; sometimes purchasing for as low as $80. That said, maybe you don’t want to risk a used one, maybe you don’t want to use your iPod loaded with all your tunes to run an industrial control system, maybe you’re an Android guy.  Whatever the case may be, we’ve put together a kit so that out of the box you have the complete foundation of a great system. Our Nanospark Controller Kit comes with the controller and a refurbished iPod touch 4th Generation.  We’ve put a screen protector on the iPod touch 4 along with a hard plastic case.  On the iPod itself we’ve cleaned up the home screen by organizing the basic apps and installing both the Nanospark Controller and Colour Detector apps. You can find the kit in our store, we trust you’ll find it helpful! Learn more about the...

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Introducing Nanospark Controller – First Hundred Units

Introducing Nanospark Controller – First Hundred Units

Purchase your Nanospark (Read why you should below)   As we introduce Nanospark, we are offering it at a reduced price of $79.99.  Take advantage of this offer, because it is only for the first one-hundred units! We believe the Nanospark controller has great potential for OEMs, facility managers, research and development, and yes- DIYers.  The beauty of this controller is not just the variety of projects you could take on or the equipment you could improve- but the clean, intuitive interface that comes through the iOS connection. Need some ideas of how you could use the Nanospark Controller?  See how we are making use of this ingenious device around our facility. Contact us (715-318-1059) or visit Our Store to begin your Nanospark...

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Meet Nanospark – Interface Controller Extraordinaire

Meet Nanospark – Interface Controller Extraordinaire

The new Nanospark controller brings the power of the Apple mobile devices to the physical world. It will help developers and users of sensors, machines and other devices to convert them to smart devices, integrate them into the web and leverage the computing power of the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices to monitor and control their equipment.

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Nanospark – An Interface Controller (Early Release)

New Interface Controller Unveiled Nanospark proudly releases today its machine interface controller and code package for iOS developers and equipment manufacturers. Altoona, Wisconsin USA (May 8, 2013) – Utilizing the user-friendly interface of an iOS app, the Nanospark hardware controller connects the iOS device to almost any type of sensor or actuator. With the Nanospark controller users can gather instrument data and create a custom control system to manage equipment operation. The Nanospark controller has eight digital and six analog inputs, as well as eight digital and two analog outputs. Outputs can be set and inputs can be read by simple communication with the iOS framework. Combining the power of iOS devices with the ability to interact with the physical world, allows developers to move beyond controlling bytes and pixels to interacting with physical objects and environments. For example, a simple process controller could monitor ph, humidity, air flow and temperature. The controlling application can use the immense feature set of the Apple device to process that data or share it with others. Process data can be geotagged and shared to remote services as it’s acquired. The global range of mobile communications adds the ability to monitor the system or receive alerts almost anywhere. Nanospark’s programmers are developing functional sub-sets of code to use these features and the internal iOS sensors. As much as possible sub-sets will be shared as open source code. Nanospark has already integrated the controller to work with services like Twilio and Pachube/Cosm. The Apple device’s camera is being used for basic vision system processing. “We have leveraged existing code in our product development and we look forward to sharing these building blocks with others; allowing faster and more productive innovation for equipment developers as well as the general community of programmers,” says Nanospark founder Steve Dye. The Nanospark controller is a unique interface which uses the immense power of an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch to connect with a wide variety of sensors and switches. By bridging the physical and the digital world Nanospark can be as versatile as the human imagination. Media Contact: Joel Labrucherie (715) 831-6353 interact@nanospark.com...

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Nanospark – A ‘Smart’ Control System (Our First Demo)

Nanospark – A ‘Smart’ Control System (Our First Demo)

What is Nanospark?  Nanospark is the foundation for whatever monitoring or control system you’d like to create.  What’s really slick about Nanospark is the interface.  It connects to an iOS device, like an iPod touch or iPhone, which lets you interact with the sensors, actuators or other equipment through an app.  Of course, you can program an app to do whatever you need with those sensors.  You can use functions like text messaging or GPS location to enhance your system with useful features.  We worked up a simple demo to help everyone visualize how Nanospark works. To help you replicate the demo, if you’re so inclined, we put together a walk-through.  It’s not step-by-step, but will help someone who already has a basic knowledge of Objective-C and Xcode. If the demo sparks an idea in you please try it and tell us about it (on Facebook or...

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