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In September, we have released the Wireless Tag "smart home" skill. Due to limitation of the "smart home skill" category as defined by Amazon, although the skill allows actions such as "arm" or "beep" by voice command, we could not make Alexa return much useful information about each sensor such as temperature or motion state. 

Today, we are happy to announce the "Wireless Tag (Informational)" skill has passed certification and is now available to install. This skill is meant to supplement and be used together with the existing Wireless Tag smart home skill. As the name suggests, this skill is focused on having Alexa return useful information. 

Try saying: "Alexa, ask Wireless Tag for the lowest temperature last week." to know which sensor recorded the lowest temperature and how much.
"Alexa, ask Wireless Tag for the lowest temperature in Living Room last month".
"Alexa, ask Wireless Tag for the highest temperature in Fridge last week".

"Alexa, ask Wireless Tag for the temperature at boiler room yesterday." to know the average temperature yesterday there.
"Alexa, ask Wireless Tag for temperature at Living Room" to know the current temperature. 

Instead of "temperature", you can also ask about "humidity", "brightness", "moisture" or "motion state".

"Alexa, ask Wireless Tag what happened today" to have Alexa read back event history today, or "Alexa, ask Wireless Tag what happened at Fridge last week" to have Alexa read back events only related to the tag "Fridge", including what time Fridge was opened or about any temperature abnormalities, starting from the most recent.

You can also say...
"Alexa, ask Wireless Tag if Front Door is open"
"Alexa, ask Wireless Tag if Car Key is out of range"
"Alexa, ask Wireless Tag about the signal at Tag 1"

Here is a list of all possible things you can say (after "ask Wireless Tag", and skip the first column). 

The older smart home skill is better at recognizing unique names of tag you have given, while the "Wireless Tag (Informational)" skill recognizes from a list of most common 100 or so tag names such as "Living room" (complete list here) plus a number, which should cover over 95% of all names people have ever given to their sensor tags. If the skill has trouble recognizing your tag name, try to rename it to one on the list.

Wireless Sensor Tags Store was recently selected to join the Google Trusted Stores program. To help shoppers identify online merchants that offer a great shopping experience, the Google Trusted Store badge is awarded to e-commerce sites that demonstrate a track record of on-time shipping and excellent customer service. When visiting the store.wirelesstag.net, shoppers will see a Google Trusted Store badge and can click on it for more information.

As an added benefit, when a shopper makes a purchase at a Google Trusted Store, they have the option to select free purchase protection from Google. Then in the unlikely event of an issue with their purchase, they can request Google’s help, and Google will work with Wireless Sensor Tags and the customer to address the issue. As part of this, Google offers up to $1,000 lifetime purchase protection for eligible purchases.

Google Trusted Stores is entirely free, both for shoppers and for online stores. The program helps online stores like Wireless Sensor Tags attract new customers, increase sales and differentiate themselves by showing off their excellent service via the badge on their websites. For the shop to maintain Google Trusted Store badge, it has to ship at least 600 orders every quarter, and receive overwhelmingly positive reviews from survey emails automatically sent to each customer by Google. 

As one use of the ambient light sensor is to measure how much light a plant receives, a weather proofed version for outdoor use was requested by many people. 

   

As you can see in above picture, a thick layer of flexible silicone coating (that is highly resistant to repeated temperature cycles) is precisely applied by machine to cover all circuit components except the humidity sensing window, buzzer opening and battery contact, protecting circuit from corrosion while allowing humidity to be measured.

Rain Proof Wireless Tag Pro ALS is available here for immediate shipment. 

Check out the WirelessTag Amazon Echo/Alexa skill just became available for everyone today!

  • "Alexa, turn on Car Key beeper," to help you find your key
  • "Alexa, turn on Car Key motion," to enable motion sensor on the tag
  • "Alexa, turn off Car Key motion," to disable it
  • If you have more than 1 tag with motion sensor, "Alexa, turn on all motion tags," to enable motion sensor on all tags when you leave home
  • "Alexa, turn on temperature monitoring in Bedroom."
  • "Alexa, turn on temperature monitoring in all tags."
  • "Alexa, turn on humidity monitoring in Car Key."
  • "Alexa, turn on humidity monitoring in all tags."
Link a temperature sensor tag with a Nest or Honeywell thermostat in order to regulate temperature in a location different from where the thermostat is installed. AC or heat is turned on when tag temperature monitoring reports "too hot" or "too cold". Change either the "too hot" or "too cold" threshold temperature by saying:

  • "Alexa, set Bedroom temperature to 74."

We are pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement with IFTTT regarding channel partner fee that was proposed by them recently. After all, neither side wants to see such a successful integration go away over a few thousand dollars fee. The Wireless Tag channel will keep running and be updated to support our upcoming sensor products, and new ways of using it, such as automatically forwarding captured data to 3rd party storage like Google Drive for report creation. You should see an update of WirelessTag IFTTT channel with these new features by middle of August. (Update Aug 17, 2016: Today the IFTTT channel update was officially released: https://ifttt.com/wirelesstag)

We have noticed a lot of users were using KumoApp "log every update" or similar to simply forward all periodic temperature log data to some URL. This is a rather wasteful use of the KumoApp engine, so we encourage you to use our newly available URL calling option "When tag sends a temperature/humidity update" as below:

This example adjusts brightness of a Hue lamp whenever there is an update in temperature, humidity or brightness (ALS sensor tag available in September)

In above, we enclose math expression in <% and %> to have it evaluated before the URL is called. This expression results in full brightness when ambient light drops below 46 lux and zero brightness (light OFF) when ambient light goes above 300 lux. The math expression not only can be evaluated into numbers but also "true" or "false" for logical expressions like in this example. 

It is very easy to use the URL calling feature to automatically trigger LIFX bulbs using event or data from any Wireless Sensor Tag.  LIFX is often linked using IFTTT but this method is simpler and works with less latency.   

First, go to https://cloud.lifx.com/settings to generate a token as below:

Then, from Web Interface (https://mytaglist.com/eth) open a tag, then click on ">" button and choose 'URL Calling..." to open "Custom URL Calling on Event" screen below:

Here, choose an event, such as "too hot", "too humid" or if you want the light to continuously change, "when tag sends .... update" as above, and enter the URL 

https://[the token you obtained in previous step]@api.lifx.com/v1/lights/all/state

You can also enter other triggering methods described in LIFX API doc, such as selector to specify which bulb if you have more than one. Click on the ">" button next to the URL box to enter HTTP content. 

In above example, we enclose math expression in <% and %> to have it evaluated before the URL is called. This expression divides temperature (in °C) by 40 and use it to set the brightness. The "min" function ensures the brightness does not go to negative. This will resulting in light being 100% bright at 40°C and completely off at 0°C and below. 

Since the introduction of Water/Moisture Sensor in early 2013, our customers have loved its simplicity and low cost compared with other soil moisture sensing products. 

A repeated request we received was to be able to measure soil moisture at a deeper region of the ground, where it matters for most plants. Also because the original version did not have a scratch resistant coating, outdoor use caused the water proof coating and solder-mask on board to eventually wear away by weather elements. 

To satisfy needs for outdoor use, we have developed the 2.0 which is available today for shipment. 

With deeper sensing arm, you will be able to sense soil moisture level at deeper region, or alternatively, leave the electronics/antenna higher above ground for better signal strength/longer range. 

The entire board is coated with HumiSeal UV40, a material with high hardness for scratch resistance that is also highly resistant to chemicals; in addition to being water proof. This will allow the sensor to be used for outdoor agriculture exposed to weather elements.

The sensor also comes with the latest firmware that incorporates all the bug fixes that are already in other types of Wireless Tags.  

Click here to order one today. 

 

Since we introduced the rain proofed version of Wireless Tag Pro in February, the product has been a great success. A thick layer of silicone based conformal coating, precisely applied on portions of internal circuit board, allows the tag to be used outdoors or in high humidity area, while still be able to measure ambient humidity. The silicone coating has proven to be a lasting protection against corrosion over the wide temperature range supported by the tag (-40°C - 85°C). 

Update September 23, 2016: We now have stock of both Wireless Tag Pro rain proof w/ 2048 point memory and Wireless Tag Pro rain proof w/ 8192 point memory for immediate shipment. 

We are restocked of the accelerometer-based Wireless Tag Pro. Use this to detect small vibration such as dryer machine running that an angle (digital compass) based normal tag cannot detect. The price is identical to the normal version.

A customer reviewed our iOS app

"Looking for a new feature to be added. I would like the ability to swipe on a notification on the lock screen and a "pause for an hour" button appears. Ideally the time frame could be configurable for each sensor. Also this button should be available on the Apple Watch when the notification appears there. Also another button (I believe you can do two) to disarm the sensor for a configurable amount of Time as well. This way I can stop notifications if I am in/out of the back door, during a specific time period or disarm the tag from affecting other smart items in the house. I really hope this is a feasible feature that can be added. " — for Version 2.7.1 by Jeasy1988

This is like "Snooze" button. It makes a lot of sense; suppose

  • You are back to home outside of usual schedule, and get lots of motion sensor notifications because the sensors are usually armed during that time. You want to temporarily stop the notifications until you are gone. 
  • You open fridge to prepare for dinner. You get temperature too high push notification. You want to quickly stop the notification for an hour until you are done with dinner preparation. 

Today version 2.7.2 (iOS) and 2.11.2 (Android) are available with this feature added. 

For motion sensor events:

 (Android 4.1+ swipe down)

For temperature/humidity events:

 (iOS 8+, swipe left)

As Jeasy requested, you can configure how long to stay paused or disarmed for each tag individually from motion sensor / temperature sensor option screen inside the app, under the section "Pause Action Effective For". By default, it is set to 1 hour. 

"Pause" will temporarily stop the system from sending notifications but still keep the sensor "armed" so events will keep being logged on Event History and KumoApps/IFTTT/Nest Thermostats keep being triggered. "Disarm/Stop monitoring" will actually send commands to the sensor tag to power down the motion sensor/temperature monitoring (and automatically resume after the programmed time).

Improving/enhancing the app for all customers is our top priority. If you have any suggestions like this, let us know and they will get implemented right away. 

We have received many requests from customers who wish to use Wireless Tag in an outdoor environment. We have worked hard to try to make this possible. 

We are pleased to announce that we have developed in partnership with Electronic Coating Technologies in Everett, WA an automated process to apply Silicone based conformal coating to the circuit board while precisely exposing the 3mm x 3mm humidity sensor IC's sensing surface, Piezo buzzer's side-slot for emitting beeping sound, and the coin-cell battery contacts, so as to retain its functionality as humidity sensor and lost item finder while providing protection against rain and condensation. 

   

We have successfully tested the prototype; ten boards survived 2 weeks on balcony exposed to rain and morning dew. See live data for one at zip code 92603 (Yes, with direct sunlight, temperature can go up to 115°F at near 0%RH). Two uncoated boards we placed as control died after 2 days. This conformal coating is also expected to help tags survive in high humidity, condensation-rich environment such as some commercial freezers that are opened very frequently.

Over the next few weeks, we will begin larger scale production and starting from Wireless Tag Pro, gradually make available the variants with this rain proofing applied. 

March 23: We now have stock of Wireless Tag Pro rain proof w/ 8192 point memory for immediate shipment. 

May 20: We now have stock of Wireless Tag Pro rain proof w/ 2048 point memory for immediate shipment. 

Until now, the Nest Thermostat integration was focused on turning heat or AC on/off when a tag that monitors temperature reports "too cold", "too hot" or "back to normal".

We also receive current temperature and humidity updates from the thermostat and save it for historical graphs (up to 10 days per Nest policy). The temperature update allows triggering "too cold", "too hot" or "back to normal" events and KumoApp event handlers assigned to "temperatureChange" or "temperatureCross". This means if you have another WiFi thermostat including ones from Honeywell, you can choose your Nest Thermostat as if it is a temperature sensor tag in the "Set At" option to make it turn on/off another thermostat.

Nest Thermostats contain sophisticated algorithms to use sensor (a PIR?) and scheduling to determine if the house is occupied or not (i.e. "home" or "away"). Nest encourages developers to use this information in an integration. 

Starting today, the Nest thermostat "tag" will generate "Detected Movement" (i.e. transition from "away" to "home") and "Timed Out" (i.e. transition from "home" to "away") events just like a PIR KumoSensor. You will also be able to assign KumoApp event handlers to "detected" and "timedOut" of the Nest Thermostat to perform actions like arming or disarming motion sensor tags, as well as use corresponding IFTTT WirelessTag channel triggers. 

From the Web/Android interface you can click the ">" button to open a PIR sensor-like notification option screen for your Nest where you can choose emails, twitter account, push notification sounds for these events. 

Also, now if you have configured the "Set At" for your Nest such that HVAC is triggered by a wireless tag, when your Nest transitions to "away", temperature monitoring of the tag will be automatically disabled (so it will not try to turn on HVAC when nest is in "away" mode), and when Nest transitions to "home" the temperature monitoring at the tag will be re-enabled. This is actually a feature a lot of people wanted and long overdue. 

 

We now offer a limited edition variant of Wireless Tag Pro that uses 3D accelerometer instead of 3D compass to sense motion and door open-close (works only on vertical door like garage door and mailbox door). The benefits are

  • Immediate notification: The accelerometer measures acceleration 10 times a second resulting in virtually immediate notification.
  • Less false alarms: The accelerometer is not susceptible to electro-magnetic interference from nearby appliances turning on/off. This allows you to increase the sensitivity to detect small vibration, not possible with regular 3D compass based motion sensor tags. 
  • Two types of motion event: "Moved" and "Carried away": The tag can distinguish short vibration that lasts less than a second from longer movement lasting more than 2 seconds. 

The battery life of the accelerometer based tag in default setting is similar to that of regular 3D compass based tag in default setting. 

We started shipping PIR KumoSensors with firmware that allows sensitivity adjustment today (2015/11/6). When you receive your new PIR sensor (will show as "rev 8F" in search result), you will be able to access the sensitivity slider from the Web interface at https://mytaglist.com/eth.

With this new feature, you can reduce sensitivity if you are getting false alarms due to very short movement lasting less than a second. We tested this feature on two customer returned PIR sensors that were prone to produce false alarms. With sensitivity set to 50%, the false alarm completely went away, while each detects normal human movement every time. 

With the next iOS app update (version 2.6.0) you will be able to display temperature, humidity, motion event state or last update time of selected tags on lock screen. You can touch/tap on the colored square to the right to switch the display between humidity, last update time and motion sensor state. 

wireless tag widget ios humidity wireless tag widget ios updated ago wireless tag widget ios motion event

You don't have to launch the Kumostat app or even unlock your phone. Just drag down from the top of the screen to reveal the "Notification Center" where you can click the "Edit" button to add the "Temperature/Humidity/Motion widget". 

The nice thing about this feature is that you can mix&match multiple tags you want to show from different tag managers. Instead of data of all available tags, only data of the chosen tags is downloaded resulting in quick load time. 

In this version, we could not get the automatic display update to work within the widget, i.e. if a tag is moved, it will not automatically be updated in the notification center, unlike it does in the app. The display in the notification center should refresh/update if you hide the notification center and then open it again.  

You can now switch to display humidity as "Dew Point temperature" instead of "Relative Humidity (RH%)" from the Humidity Options screen (open by tapping on the humidity display in the app). This is available currently in Web, Android app version 2.8.16 or above, and the latest iOS app currently under AppStore review.

Relative Humidity is, like its name suggests, a relative measure of water content in the air. It is the ratio of current water content relative to the maximum water that can be dissolved.

Dew Point on the other hand, is like "absolute humidity". It indicates the temperature at which condensation forms, which is only determined by how much water is dissolved in the air currently, and is unrelated to current temperature. Dew Point is a better indicator of how humid the air actually feels.

Because the higher the temperature of the air, more water can be dissolved, if we plot RH% like our app could only do in the past, often you will see it has strong negative correlation with temperature, i.e. it just moves in the opposite direction of the temperature change, and it was hard to tell the actual change of water content in the air, or how humid the air felt.

If you switch to Dew Point display, all of a sudden, the humidity trace is decoupled from temperature change, and the water content change becomes much more clear. We can see from below plot, that as temperature rises new water is dissolved into air (for example there might have been a water puddle before the temperature rise), but the dew point reaches peak before temperature reaches its peak, indicating the water puddle is gone, or drier wind blew the water vapor away.

We occasionally hear from heavy users (who runs almost a hundred tags off a single tag manager at short logging interval) that "spikes" appear in the temperature or humidity graph. While this is sometimes caused by defective temperature sensor IC itself (which resolves by requesting a replacement tag) it may also be caused by bit-error in transmission in a noisy radio channel shared by many tags. By default, each tag uses 8-bit CRC implemented by firmware on top of a 16-bit CRC-CCITT by hardware. This provides an upper bound of undetected error rate of one in 16.8 million regardless of bit error rate of the raw radio channel. However, if each tag transmits once per minute and you have 100 tags, you may encounter an undetected error (which appears as a corrupted temperature data point or a spike in the temperature graph) every 116.5 days. 

To improve this, we have added an option to turn on 32-bit CRC error checking already implemented in the radio hardware.

This reduces the error rate to 1E-12 or one in trillion. Now you should not be getting any bit-error caused spikes in temperature/humidity graph. If after you turn on this option and migrated all tags, and you still have the spikes, contact support and we will email you a prepaid return shipping label to send back the tag for a replacement right away. 

Feb 10, 2016:

You can now edit the temperature or humidity graph by "click to remove point" like below. This will allow you to remove data points that you believe is bogus manually. After you are done, click the yellow "Save" button to permanently delete these data points. 

This feature is currently only available in the web interface on a PC or Mac. Go to https://mytaglist.com/eth then click the blue "Stats" on the bottom of the page and choose either "Temperature" or "Humidity". Zoom into the graph until it shows each raw data point. Then scroll to the bottom of the page to access these buttons. (If you do not see them press F5 key to force your browser to refresh its cached version of the page.)

 We are pleased to announce that all Wireless Tags PRO you buy on or after May 27 will include these exclusive updates:

  • Choosing too hot/too cold temperature monitoring thresholds at 0.02°C step:
    The Wireless Tag PRO uses the same digital temperature and humidity sensor IC as Wireless Tag (with 13-bit temperature/humidity) which has a resolution of 0.02°C (13-bit). However, until now thresholds were stored in 8-bit numbers, so you were only able to set thresholds at ~0.6°C step (the accuracy of the threshold is unchanged with this update). This update is especially powerful when used in conjunction with Nest/Honeywell WiFi thermostats, because you are now able to regulate temperature much more precisely using too hot/too cold events from sensor tags.
  • Programmable sampling-rate for temperature monitoring:
    This allows trading off battery consumption with the response time of the tag to temperature events. Because the tag only transmits readings when the temperature crosses a threshold, not when every time it samples (checks if temperature is too high or too low), setting a fast sampling-rate like every 30 seconds has much less impact on battery life than setting a 30 second auto-update interval.
  • Hardware delayed notification:
    When you are using the tag to monitor temperature inside a fridge or freezer, your purpose is to get notified when the compressor breaks down or exhibit chronic problems. You probably don't want to get notified when temperature increases temporarily because the fridge/freezer door is opened for loading/unloading. "Delayed notification" allows the too-hot or too-cold event to be transmitted only when the sensor reads too-hot or too-cold for a programmable number of times, in a row. A similar feature is available currently in a KumoApp script but it was based on auto-update/logging data points, and drained battery more quickly because a relatively short auto-update interval must be used for it to work. 

New temperature options in Web/Android and iOS (2.4.11+) available with the new Wireless Tag PRO

We are pleased to release an improved Web/Android app (version 2.8+) with a more logically organized, more touch optimized user interface.

In this redesign, our goal was

  • Often used option screens should be easier to open with 1 click, instead of first clicking "Options..." then choose from a long, confusing menu listing choices about unrelated features together. Now temperature/humidity/motion/etc option screen can be opened by clicking on the temperature/humidity/motion/etc display.
  • instead of grouping status display and options of unrelated features together, everything related to one feature, such as "temperature sensor", "motion sensor", "light" should be grouped under its own button. This way if a user does not use a feature, he/she can simply ignore the button for that feature.
  • The buttons should be stress-free to press on smartphones/tablets. Now the button for each feature are closer to square shape just like app icon on home screen.

The end results felt so much better compared with the old Web user interface, we wonder why we did not think of these sooner and let people live with such a confusing interface for so long.

Your comments are welcome!

EDIT (April 21):  Keyboard navigation: You can now use TAB key to jump through each buttons, and press ENTER key to activate button/open menu. When a menu is opened, you can use UP/DOWN ARROW key to choose, and press ENTER key to confirm. or press ESC key to close the menu. When an option screen is open, you can use ALT+LEFT ARROW key to go back / close the option screen without saving.

Now you can link Honeywell WiFi Thermostats (aka Total Connect Comfort) the same way as you can link Nest Thermostats and automate using temperature readings from any chosen Wireless Tag, as well as take advantage of automation algorithms in KumoApps such as "turn off when window is open and resume when closed" or "turn on when any of my phones gets close to home". Web/Android apps currently have this capability, and iOS app 2.4.2 and above will add this capability when it gets released at AppStore. Enjoy!
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