Frequently Asked Questions

Please direct any technical issues or unanswered questions to the community forums

General

Do I have to write an app to use the board?

No you don't have to write a single line of code, we provide several apps on the Windows, Google Play, and Apple store to help get you started

Which board is best suited as an activity tracker or motion and gesture tracker?

We recommend the MetaMotion R, which comes with a 9 axis IMU and sensor fusion.

Which board is best suited for temperature sensing?

The MetaTracker board is best suited for temperature sensing.

Do you sell cases and wristbands for the MetaSensors?

Yes we sell cases and wristbands on our store and you can also download and print your own cases from the MbientLab Shapeways store.

Orders

Where do you ship?

We ship anywhere in the world via the United States Postal Service (USPS) and United Parcel Service (UPS). We recommend that international shipments be handled by UPS. We use the 3 day UPS service which is extremely fast and reliable.

What is the return process?

We do not accept returns unless your item is DOA and you are still covered under our 30 day warranty. Please email us if you fit the return criteria.

Can I exchange my sensor for a different one?

We do not accept exchanges since MetaSensor boards are electronic components. All sales are final.

What forms of payment do you accept?

We accept debit and credit card via Stripe and PayPal. We accept POs and wire/bank transfers with NET 15 payment terms for qualified customers with orders over $1,000.00, please email us for details.

Are there discounts for MetaSensors and volume orders?

Yes, discounts are automatically applied on our store for quantities up to 100. If you want to order quantity 100 or more, please email us for a custom quote.

Help my order is lost!

We have insurance on all orders so please contact us if your order is lost or damaged upon arrival.

Troubleshooting

How do I orient the coin cell battery?

Insert the battery positive (+) side facing out.

How do I get my board out of MetaBoot mode?

The board will automatically return to normal after a minute. If it is stuck in MetaBoot, update the firmware with the MetaWear app with an iOS device.

How do I power on the board?

The board is always on when attached to a power source. Make sure the battery is inserted properly and the battery is fully charged.

What should I do if my battery reads 0%?

Update the firmware and try again.

How do I remove the Panasonic CR2032 battery's magnetic field?

We recommend demagnetising the coin cell battery with an AC demagnetiser. You should also make sure that any application that uses the magnetometer properly calibrates against existing field effects.

Help, I am still having an issue and I tried everything else!?

Please post your issue with thorough details on the Community Forum so our engineers and other users can help you out.

Why can't I connect to the board with my mobile device?

It's possible your device and OS are not Bluetooth 4.0 compliant amongst other reasons. Check out the troubleshooting tips on our MetaWear Basics video.

Are there any indicators that the board is powered on?

Yes but only through a Bluetooth scan. The LED will not turn on when the board is first powered on.

I can connect to the board but the MetaWear app doesn't work. What should I do?

Make sure your board is always using the latest firmware. Use the MetaWear App to update the firmware.

How do I update the firmware?

Download the official MetaWear App from the app store, connect to your board, and press the Update Firmware button. Make sure you are using the latest app release.

The firmware update failed with "Error: Error on Receive Firmware Image. Message: Invalid Response". What should I do?

This is an issue with hardware revision 0.3, follow the steps outlined in this post. We are updating our apps to use the latest DFU code from Nordic.

Capabilities

Does the MetaSensor work with AC power?

Yes. The R series boards can be powered by USB so all you need is an AC to USB adapter.

Does your hardware work with WiFi?

No, MetaSensors are only Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth 4.0).

Can I connect MetaSensor to a PC?

Yes but you must be running Windows 8.1 or Windows 10.

Can the MetaSensor interact with or sense other beacons?

No, the MetaSensor is a slave device; it is NOT a master device. It only advertises as a beacon.

Can the MetaSensor be used as an activity tracker?

Yes, we have a fitness tracker app for both Android and iOS. There is also a pedometor mode on any device with the BMI160 sensor.

Can I attach GPS to the board?

Yes but you need to find a 3V compliant module that can be added to your MetaSensor using I2C or SPI and you will need to use a bigger LiPo battery.

Can data be logged on-board and retrieved at a later time?

Yes, you can use the MetaBase app (Android, iOS) or our APIs to develop your own logging app.

Can I put the MetaSensor board to sleep?

The board will automatically sleep if there is no activity.

Is your sensor hardware compliant with Apple HomeKit?

Yes.

What does the MetaSensor board connect to and how?

The MetaSensors connect to tablets, smartphones, computers using Bluetooth Low Energy. It works with Android, iOS, macOS, tvOS, Windows and more! Your target platform requires a Bluetooth 4.0 radio and an operating system that supports Bluetooth LE.

Can the MetaSensor function as a beacon?

Yes, it can advertise as a beacon i.e. iBeacon, Eddystone, etc.

How much data can be stored on the devices?

This depends on the MetaSensor type. You can store approximately 5KB of data (~10K log entries) on the C, CPRO, R, RG, RPRO, ENV, and DETECT sensors. On the MetaTracker, there is 2MB of memory for roughly 100K of sensor log entries. On the MetaMotion R there is 8MB of memory!

Can I attach a LCD, LED, OLED, or E Ink screen to the MetaSensor?

No, the MetaSensor does not have the circuity required to support high powered screens.

Can I communicate with my MetaSensor using classic Bluetooth?

No, the MetaSensor is Bluetooth Low Energy only.

Can my MetaSensor give me steps and active time?

Yes, check out the Fitness Tracker project (Android, iOS) for the app and source code.

Sensors

Can additional sensors be attached to the board?

Yes, we have an I2C bus, SPI bus, and up to 8 GPIO pins on the MetaSensor boards that you can use to connect 3V compliant peripherals such as a heart rate sensor.

How fast can I run the sensors?

The practical limit for one sensor is 800Hz if you are logging the data, 100Hz if you are streaming. You must decrease the sample rate when you enable multiple sensors.

Is it possible to export sensor data as a CSV file?

Yes, the MetaWear app exports data in CSV format.

What sensors and form factors are available?

Please see the video in our Getting Started guide for an overview of our offerings. We offering a variety of form factors and everything is customizable.

How can I record from multiple sensors?

Use the MetaBase app. Learn more on our getting started page.

Is sensor data transmitted as is (raw format)?

Yes, the firmware reads raw data from the sensors.

How fast can I stream data from my MetaSensor?

The Bluetooth LE radio can handle data throughput of up to 100Hz. For example, you can stream 1 sensor at 100Hz, however you must decrease the sample rate when sampling multiple sensors i.e. sampling 2 sensors at 50Hz each.

How can I send sensor data to MatLab or Labview?

Use the MetaWear or MetaBase apps to record data in CSV format and follow these instructions to import the CSV file into Matlab or Labview.

How can I sync CSV data from multiple sensors?

You can use the timestamps and output data rates to deduce which pieces of data pair together.

Operational Parameters

How frequently can data be sent via Bluetooth LE?

The theoretical limit of BLE is 1Mbps but in practice, you will average a third of that speed.

How long does it take to fully charge the battery?

It will take about 2 hours.

How many devices can I connect to on an Android device at the same time?

Depending on the model and OS, between 3 and 6 MetaSensor boards. For stability, we recommend only connecting to 2 or 3 boards max.

How long does the battery last?

Depending on your use case, the battery will last between 2 hours and 6 months; the typical use case will last 2 weeks. For R series boards, you can attach a bigger LiPo battery to extend the battery life. The MetaTracker boards comes with a large coin cell battery that can last up to 8 months.

How many devices can I connect to on an iOS device at the same time?

Depending on the model and OS, up to 10 devices. For stability, we recommended only connecting to 2 or 3 boards max. Most of our Apps limit the connection to 6 devices.

How long will it take to transfer 1Mb of data from the MetaSensor board?

It will take about 30 seconds.

Hardware & Firmware

Where can I find the schematics and BOM?

These are provided in the product specification datasheets on the Sensor page.

Where can I find the firmware source code?

The MetaWear firmware is proprietary code that is not available to the public. Please send us an email if you have special requests.

Developers

Do you support other platforms besides Android and iOS?

Yes but indirectly. We have a C++ API that can be called into by higher level languages. It is already being used in C# Univeral Windows apps and Python on Linux.

How much software experience do I need?

You should be able to write a simple Hello World app for your device and have an understanding of object oriented programming.

How do I program the MetaSensor?

You create an App that communicates with the board using our APIs. See our Tutorials for quick start guides.

Services

What is your core competency?

We are low power, wireless, sensor experts. We also excel in product prototyping, algorithm and application development.

What services do you offer?

We take your idea from prototype, to product, to mass manufacturing. We help you every step of the way with hardware and software development, DFM and more. Learn more here.

Can I customize your boards?

We rapidly and economically customize our platforms to your exact specs.

Can you take care of production, manufacturing, and supply a complete product?

Yes. Learn more here.

Do you provide industrial design or mechanical engineering services?

Not typically, we can provide these services through our proven 3rd party partners or make recomendations to match your needs.

Do I save time creating my initial prototypes using Arduino?

On the contrary. Arduino and Raspberry Pi are great platforms for hobbyists, but turning a prototype based on either into a production product requires a completely new architecture and redesign.

How long from a working prototype to production?

The average product takes 2 to 4 months for DFM and production readyness. Lead times for manufacturing and tooling take 2 to 8 weeks. Certification and approval takes 1 month on average.

What products do you offer?

Please see our store to check our offerings which are fully customizable and white-label ready.

What do you mean by platform and SDK?

Our platforms consist of hardware boards, firmware, evaluation tools, and example application software.

Can you develop turnkey and custom products?

Yes. Learn more here.

Do you have your own manufacturing?

For low quantity runs we do our own manufacturing in San Francisco. For large orders, we work with trusted contract manufacturing partners in California and in Asia to deliver high quality products at competitive prices. We are proud to produce 'MADE IN THE USA' products for any of our customers.

What about IP protection?

We work with mutual NDAs and strict confidentiality clauses in all of our contract to protect you. We always work with trustworthy and ethical partners.

How quickly can you develop my prototype?

The average prototype takes 2 to 6 weeks depending on design complexity.

Need Support? We can help.

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