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Dec 16, 2012, 05.40 PM IST | Source: PTI

Now, multitasking device to measure moisture, temperature

A US-based engineer has developed a new device that can take your body temperature from two feet away, scan your house for leaky insulation, and even determine the dampness of your basement.

A US-based engineer has developed a new device that can take your body temperature from two feet away, scan your house for leaky insulation, and even determine the dampness of your basement. George Yu, a 30-year-old engineer living in Houston, has invented a multifaceted gadget called the Node, which he describes as 'a little Swiss Army knife of sensors'. The three-inch tube records the world around it and beams the data to a smartphone via Bluetooth, the 'Daily Mail' reported.

The device consists of a tiny circuit board with three attached motion sensors inside a small plastic cylinder. A range of sensors that measure moisture, temperature, light, and colour can be attached to each end. Yu's innovation is combining the sensors in one flexible system and developing a compatible smartphone app that displays the environmental data the sensors pick up. Yu's family emigrated from China to Houston when he was 11, and he says he "took apart every toy my parents ever bought me".

The basic motion-sensing device costs just over 90 pounds, with the screw-on sensors ranging from 16 pounds to 47 pounds. Node has so far caught the attention of hobbyists, who've bought 450 of them. One customer who raises parrots uses Node to measure temperature and humidity in his incubator. Another user, Marcus Ekeroos, who flies hot air balloons in Gothenburg, Sweden, measures his altitude and velocity with the device. Now, Yu is marketing the device to industries ranging from home improvement to health care.

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