RuuviTag - Monitor the air
Measure temperature, humidity and air pressure with this small Internet-of-Things device.
What is RuuviTag?
Finnish company Ruuvi Innovations Oy has developed a small device, that can be used to measure for example temperature, air humidity and air pressure. The device is called RuuviTag. Diameter of the device is about 5 cm and weighs only 25 grams. The measurements from the device can be monitored for example using a smart phone. Ruuvi offers their own free software for Android- and iOS-devices. The software can be downloaded from respective app stores. At the time of writing this, one device costs 39.90€, and if you buy more, you get a small discount per device. If you buy three, the whole price is 95.70€. You can find Ruuvi’s own shop at shop.ruuvi.com.
These small, remotely monitored and sometimes remotely controlled devices are generally called IoT-devices. IoT meaning ‘Internet of Things’. These devices either have their own internet connection, or they communicate with a server computer or mobile phone. The connection is usually achieved with Bluetooth, so the distance between the devices can not be too long.
How does RuuviTag work?
RuuviTag has an easily changeable battery. One battery should last about three years in normal usage. There are no settings that the user can change. The device starts measuring automatically, when the battery is attached. Depending on the version of RuuviTag, there are one to two buttons on the device (behind the cover), but these are not needed for normal operation. During firmware update, you might need to push the buttons.
RuuviTag sends it measurement data over Bluetooth broadcast. So anyone near enough can monitor the values from the device. This means even your closest neighbour. This probably is fine, because the only data the device sends, is measurements like temperature.
So to receive the data on your mobile phone, you need to enable Bluetooth. To receive data from a RuuviTag, you need to be close enough (at least with in 100 meters). So inside a house there should not be too much trouble receiving the signal. Of course some wall materials might interfere with the signal more than others.
Enabling Bluetooth is of course not enough - you need a software to view the data. You can download Ruuvi’s own app from your mobile device’s app store. The app recognizes near by RuuviTags, but to see the measurements, you need to add the found device to your app’s configuration. This requires only a few button presses. You can name the found device’s, by their location for example. Note that the name is only visible in your app. Your neighbours won’t see what name you gave them.
Once added to the app, you can see the current measurement values, but you can also see a history curve of values also. RuuviTag has a built-in memory that saves the last 10 days of measurements, with 5 minute intervals. Note that if you are near the RuuviTag and the app is open, you get data more often to your mobile device (even once a second).
To be continued in part 2. Subscribe to get it in your email as soon as it is up!