FAQ 2016-11-26T17:34:32+00:00

FAQ

Get answers to the most popular questions.

How long does it take to develop a prototype and go to production? 2017-06-18T01:53:58+00:00

The average prototype takes 4 to 8 weeks depending on design complexity.

The average product takes 2 to 4 months for DFM and production ready-ness.

Lead times for manufacturing and tooling take 6 to 12 weeks.

Certification takes 4 weeks.

Do I save time creating my initial prototypes using Arduino or MetaSensors? 2017-06-18T01:56:08+00:00

We highly encourage you to create your initial prototypes on the MetaSensor platform. Many companies have created products using our sensors that are available on the market today. Many MbientLab customers have raised large funding rounds or crowdfunded successfully using our Sensor platform.

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.

What about IP protection? 2017-06-18T01:56:58+00:00

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. You can read more about our terms on our TOS page.

Do you provide industrial design or mechanical engineering services? 2017-01-22T17:59:43+00:00

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

Do you have your own manufacturing? 2017-06-18T01:57:39+00:00

For low quantity runs we do our own manufacturing in San Francisco, CA using our rapid prototyping services.

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 many of our customers.

Can you take care of production, manufacturing, and supply a complete product? 2017-01-22T17:58:09+00:00

Yes. Learn more here.

Can I customize your boards? 2017-01-22T17:57:40+00:00

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

Can you develop turnkey and custom products? 2017-01-22T17:57:07+00:00

Yes. Learn more here.

What services do you offer? 2017-01-22T17:55:38+00:00

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.

How much software experience do I need? 2017-01-22T17:52:01+00:00

You should be able to write a simple Hello World app for your device and have an understanding of object oriented programming. We recommend taking some programming classes or getting help from a software programmer if you run into any issues.

Do you support other platforms besides Android and iOS? 2017-06-18T01:49:11+00:00

Yes please check out developer page: https://mbientlab.com/developers.

Where can I find the firmware source code? 2017-06-18T02:18:51+00:00

The MetaWear firmware is proprietary code that is not available to the public.

Where can I find the datasheets, schematics and BOM? 2017-06-18T02:03:21+00:00

Datasheets are available on the Developer page.

Partial schematics are provided in the product specification datasheets.

Full schematics and BOM are NOT provided.

How long will it take to download data from the MetaSensor board? 2017-06-18T02:23:59+00:00

It will take about 30 seconds to download 1MB of log entries.

It will take abut 30 minutes to download 8MB of log entries.

How many sensors can I connect to my phone? 2017-06-18T02:24:51+00:00

Depending on the model and OS, up to 6 devices can be connected simultaneous but the actual number depends on the device manufacturer.

For stability, we recommended only connecting to 2 or 3 boards max.

Please note that most phones will not support more than 3 Sensor connections at once.

How long does the battery last? 2017-01-22T17:42:50+00:00

The average MetaSensors lasts 1.5 weeks on a single battery charge.

Depending on your use case, the battery can last between 2 hours and 6 months.

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 long does it take to fully charge the battery? 2017-01-22T17:41:50+00:00

It will take about 2 hours.

How can I record from multiple sensors? 2017-01-22T17:39:51+00:00

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

How can I send sensor data to MatLab or Labview? 2017-01-22T17:37:57+00:00

MatLab and Labview do not allow third party library support for Bluetooth devices so you can only import data to these tools.

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.

Is it possible to export sensor data as a CSV file? 2017-01-22T17:37:05+00:00

Yes, the (Windows, iOS, Android) MetaWear app exports data in CSV format.

How fast can I stream data from my MetaSensor? 2017-01-22T17:36:18+00:00

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.

Is sensor data transmitted as-is (in raw format)? 2017-01-22T17:34:32+00:00

Yes, the firmware reads raw data from the sensors.

Can additional sensors be attached to the board? 2017-01-22T17:33:38+00:00

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

Can my MetaSensor give me steps and active time? 2017-01-22T17:32:38+00:00

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

Can I put the MetaSensor board to sleep? 2017-01-22T17:32:05+00:00

The board will automatically sleep if there is no activity.

Can I communicate with my MetaSensor using Classic Bluetooth? 2017-06-18T02:12:50+00:00

No, the MetaSensor is Bluetooth Low Energy compliant only.

Bluetooth 2.0 (Classic) and Bluetooth 2.4+ will not work.

Your system must be Bluetooth 4.0 or newer to work.

Can I attach a screen to the MetaSensor? 2017-06-18T02:20:39+00:00

No, the MetaSensor does not have the circuity or firmware drivers required to support high powered external screens such as LCD, LED, OLED, or E-Ink screens.

You can attached LEDs and LED strips to the board.

We recommend using a smartphone screen as the visual for your application.

Can I attach GPS to the board? 2017-06-18T02:21:28+00:00

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.

We recommend using the GPS of the master device (i/e such as your Smartphone GPS).

Can the MetaSensor be used as an activity tracker? 2017-01-22T17:27:30+00:00

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

How much data can be stored on the devices? 2017-06-18T02:22:24+00:00

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 and MetaMotion C there is 8MB of memory for over 250K sensor log entries.

Can the MetaSensor interact with other sensors or sense other beacons? 2017-06-18T02:15:23+00:00

No, the MetaSensor is a slave device (i/e peripheral server); it is NOT a master device.

The MetaSensors only advertise as beacons or send raw sensor data to a master device such as a tablet, computer, or phone. MetaSensors cannot sense or connect to other sensor devices.

Can the MetaSensor function as a beacon? 2017-01-22T17:20:17+00:00

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

What does the MetaSensor board connect to and how? 2017-06-18T02:16:56+00:00

The MetaSensors connect to tablets, smartphones, and 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.

MetaSensors have been connected to Edison boards, RaspberryPis, refurbished iPods, Windows PCs, and much much more!

Can I connect MetaSensor to a PC? 2017-01-22T17:18:08+00:00

Yes but you must be running Windows 8.1 or Windows 10. Microsoft does not support BLE4.0 on Windows 7 or earlier.

Does your hardware work with WiFi? 2017-01-22T17:17:04+00:00

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

Does the MetaSensor work with AC power? 2017-01-22T17:15:08+00:00

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

Help, I can’t connect to my board! 2017-06-18T01:46:24+00:00

Please follow the steps at: https://mbientlab.com/troubleshooting.

How do I update the firmware? 2017-01-22T17:04:29+00:00

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 and that your board is charged.

What should I do if my battery reads 0%? 2017-01-22T17:02:26+00:00

Update the firmware and try again.

How do I power on the board? 2017-01-22T17:01:33+00:00

The board is always on when attached to a power source. Make sure the battery is inserted properly and the battery is fully charged. You can also power the board using the USB cable if available.

Are there any indicators that the board is powered on? 2017-01-22T17:00:52+00:00

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

Why can’t I connect to the board with my mobile device? 2017-01-22T17:00:24+00:00

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.

How do I get my board out of MetaBoot mode? 2017-01-22T16:59:23+00:00

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 orient the coin cell battery? 2017-01-22T16:58:33+00:00

Insert the battery positive (+) side facing out.

Can I exchange my sensor for a different one? 2017-01-22T16:56:36+00:00

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

Help my order is lost! What do I do? 2017-01-22T16:55:16+00:00

First, check your tracking number and then proceed to call UPS or USPS regarding the location of your shipment.

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

Are there discounts for MetaSensors and volume orders? 2017-01-22T16:54:10+00:00

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.

What is the return process? 2017-01-22T16:53:21+00:00

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.

What forms of payment do you accept? 2017-01-22T16:51:56+00:00

We accept paypal, debit, and credit card via the Stripe and PayPal portals.

We accept POs and wire/bank transfers with NET 15 payment terms for qualified customers on orders over $1,000.00, please email us for details.

Can I log sensor data in the board memory and download it later? 2017-06-18T02:06:25+00:00

Yes, some of our boards come with internal memory where you can store sensor data and retrieve it later.

You must check the sensor page to determine if the sensor you picked has logging memory, for example 2MB FLASH. You can set your board to log accelerometer data at 25Hz for 1 hour and retrieve it via your smartphone when the hour is up.

We recommend using the MetaBase app or our APIs to develop your own logging app.

Can I stream sensor data from the board? 2017-01-22T16:37:18+00:00

Yes you can stream sensor data to any Bluetooth Smart device. For example you can command the board to send accelerometer data to your iPhone6 smartphone at a rate of 50Hz.

How do I program the boards? 2017-01-22T16:35:53+00:00

We provide App API level programming which allows tablets and smartphones to send commands to the boards.

We don’t support firmware level programing but you are welcome to use Nordic tools to program the board at your own risk.

Where do you ship? 2017-01-22T16:32:58+00:00

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 2-3 day UPS service which is extremely fast and comes with free reliable tracking.

Do I have to write an app to use the board? 2017-01-22T16:29:08+00:00

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.