You just pinned down a killer gift for that picky designer pal. The NODE+Chroma scans real world surfaces, determines sRGB values, and sends them to a mobile device—an indispensable resource when visual precision is paramount.
Why We Love It
The NODE is a modular platform that packs a powerful set of interchangeable sensors that open up a world of possibilities with any iOS phone or tablet. Constructed out of strong plastics and aluminum, the device is small and light enough to fit comfortably in your pocket. On each end of the NODE you can attach one of five sensor modules: Chroma (color), Therma (IR thermometer), Clima (weather), Oxa (gas), and Luma (LED). The NODE also contains an embedded accelerometer. Grand St. is offering the NODE bundled with two options: an attached Chroma module, and also a version with both the Chroma and Therma modules. We’ll be offering additional sensor modules and the new Android compatible NODE on the Grand St. Collection starting in early October. If you’re interested in the Android version, make sure to add it to your Waitlist above and we’ll let you know once it’s available.
The Chroma sensor module is as unique as it is useful. It allows you to accurately measure colors in the real world. Simply hold the Chroma against whatever you want to measure, open the app and magically you have sRBG and CIELab values. This has tons of applications but just imagine the simple case that you are a designer and you see a beautiful color that inspires you while wandering around town. In the past, you could take picture and then feed that into Photoshop but there are just too many variables to get an accurate reading from a normal camera. You could just write down what you think the color might be... i.e. “Forest Green”. Not anymore -- with the Chroma you just take a reading from the wall/photo/magazine/apple/dog/cat, literally anything, and get the exact values instantly.
The Therma sensor module measures temperature using an infrared thermometer. We’d be lying if we said this didn’t remind us of Dr. McCoy from Star Trek taking a reading with his Tricorder. It really is amazing. You just point, shoot and then you get the temperature of any surface accurate within 0.1 degrees Celsius.
In addition to the two modules that we are offering, Variable Technologies offers three other sensors that are compatible with the NODE platform. There are sensors to measure the climate (barometric pressure, ambient light, temperature, and humidity) conditions, a flashlight module, and an industrial grade Carbon Monoxide gas sensor. Because of the open design of the NODE platform, many more modules are in the pipeline.
Check out this video made by Variable Technologies that goes through some of the amazing features of NODE:
The NODE application for iOS allows you to access any of the available sensors installed, and can even communicate with multiple NODES simultaneously. The built in sensors provided by Kore allow you to quickly view and record data from the 9 degrees-of-freedom motion engine, a gyroscope, accelerometer, and magnetometer.
When capturing color reading, the app allows you to compare the two colors directly, great for matching paint swatches with your wall color. And if you want to share the data, the app allows you to quickly email the results. Therma can be used by the NODE app, or via a dedicated application built for Therma that allows you to take a picture of what you are measuring. Both apps have large numeric display of the temperature and allow turn on and off a red LED to show you where you are aiming the Therma.
There is also a third party iOS app Paint Pro built specifically for paint identification. Every time you paint a room you always look through magazines and try to identify colors. Without spending money on having a pro match the colors, it always winds up being a bit of an estimate. With the Chroma and the Paint Pro app, there is no more guessing. You will get the exact color code for your chosen brand of paint whether it be Benjamin Moore, Behr, Sherwin Williams, or many more. All of us at Grand St. are really excited to see what other apps the NODE development community will build using their open SDK.
Why We Love It
The NODE is open. We love open. As much as we are enamored by the idea of a platform that is extensible, we absolutely love the idea of a piece of creative technology, that over time appreciates in value. Every module that is built to attach to it breathes new life into the bountiful utility of the NODE. The possibilities are truly endless. And utilizing the new lower power Bluetooth 4.0 standard, its rechargeable battery lasts for 12-14 hours of use. The NODE encourages the development of new hardware and software that can work together to bridge the gap between the real and digital world.
Check out the NODE AMA "Ask Me Anything" on Reddit
that took place on January 23rd, 2013. At Grand St. we believe it is very important to connect people with the creators of these beautiful devices. We are very excited to hear about the inspiration and thinking that went into creating the NODE.