A hands-on demo with Node, the ultimate sensor device (video)

NODE Hi Res

One of the more interesting things I got to see at last week’s CES in Las Vegas was Node, the modular sensor developed by Variable Technologies. At the center of Node is a Bluetooth-connected sensor module that looks a bit like the body of a flashlight. Users can connect two small sensor modules to it — one on each end — and then capture all kinds of data with their smart phone or iPad.

Variable Technologies CEO George Yu gave me a demo of Node and told me a little more about the platform in this video below:

Node is admittedly a bit pricey, and maybe also a tad too geeky, to become a massive hit with consumers. The Kore, as Yu’s company calls the Bluetooth base, will set you back $150, and additional sensors cost anywhere from $25 to $150. Currently, some of the available sensors include a thermometer, a color sensor, a sensor for light and weather conditions, an electrochemical gas sensor and a module that turns Node into an LED flashlight.

Yu told me that there is considerable interest from contractors and other professionals who need to gather data in the field, like painters that have to match the color of a house. Variable Technologies has also been talking to paint manufacturers.

But what I really liked about Node was its open development approach. Essentially, it’s not just a sensor, but a platform to develop apps that make use of all kinds of sensory data. It will be interesting to see what third-party developers come up with.

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