Author Topic: Fiire remote shown in demo  (Read 6039 times)

totallymaxed

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Re: Fiire remote shown in demo
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2007, 04:09:03 pm »
Is there not enough granularity in the reported signal strength to compare? Are you saying that follow me doesn't work in any way on LMCE? This was one of the things I was most interested in!


Follow-me works in a number of different ways... the simplest does not require any fancy hardware beyond a Core/Hybrid and a 2nd MD. Start some media playing at the Core/Hybrid, click home and then select the media flloor plan. Now click the the big 'F' button and it will turn red. Now you have a number of options... you could change the room that you are controlling to the room that your 2nd MD is in... and the Media you had playing at your Core/Hybrid will start playing there! Change the room that you are controlling back to the Room that your Core/Hybrid is in again... and the Media will jump back to the Core/Hybrid again and continue playing. You can also do a similar trick from the Media Floor plan... if you have a floor plan graphic added. Again get the Media playing at the MD you are sitting at and then get the Media Floor plan up on screen (make sure follow-me is on in the Media Floor plan). Now move the highlight over to the MD that you want to move the media to and click once... next move the highlight to the Media playing list on the Media Floor plan (it will be the name of the media you chose to play). Click this media once... magically the media with 'move' to the MD you chose to move it to... and continue playing where it left off!

Now with a Bluetooth enabled phone the idea is to make this totally transparent... just turn on follow-me on the phone and move from the room your in to another room with an MD with a bluetooth dongle attached... and magically when the MD your moving towards can sense your bluetooth signal it will make the media move across to it. The problem is that Bluetooth signal are too powerful and lmce can't determine which MD you are closer to reliably. If it worked well this would be great because almost everyone owns a mobile and almost all of them have bluetooth (at least here in Europe thats the case). But it does not work reliably at all... believe me we have tried for a long time to make this work... it just doesn't (enough of the time).

The Fiire remote does work... 100% of the time (or pretty close to 100%). Just add a Fiire dongle to all your MD's... then press 'follow-me' on the Fiire remote before you leave a room (to tell the system when you want pickup from in your media playback) then walk to the other room and press 'follow-me' again and the Media will pickup from the point where you pressed 'follow-me' in the previous room. This works so well you have to see it to understand how impressive it is... because it is damn impressive!
Andy Herron,
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chrisbirkinshaw

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Re: Fiire remote shown in demo
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2007, 01:42:24 pm »
chrisbirkinshaw where in any of those posts does it say follow me doesnt work??? they said ithe fiire remote doesnt use bluetooth.

"The reason Bluetooth was not used is because the range is too good to work reliably with the "follow me" feature."

Hagen

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Re: Fiire remote shown in demo
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2007, 01:47:48 pm »
And then you came in and asked if that meant that follow me did not work in any way with LMCE...
It does not work RELIABLY with BLUETOOTH as the range is USUALLY too good to differenciate two locales very close to each other (next room)...
That is why Fiire does not use bluetooth...
(I think I mentioned this before...)

Now if your locales is far enough apart to make it work with bluetooth, then it will probably work. I have noticed that I lose bluetooth connection within the house at around 10-15 meters, but most people have other MDs within that "zone" (I have two, will have four) and therefore Fiire chose to use another transmission form with less range, but still more than adequate for using as a normal remote.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2007, 01:55:58 pm by Hagen »

chrisbirkinshaw

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Re: Fiire remote shown in demo
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2007, 08:02:59 pm »
Would you mind chilling out a bit? If it doesn't work reliably then to most people it would be fair to say it doesn't work at all. I know if I told my girlfriend that this would work perhaps sometimes then she would definitely say it was broken.

I asked a valid question about follow-me in general. I did appreciate totallymaxed's post. It was very informative. Thanks!

Now all I have to do is save up for the Fiire Chief... (2 of)

Thanks,

Chris

Hagen

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Re: Fiire remote shown in demo
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2007, 08:23:59 pm »
Would you mind chilling out a bit? If it doesn't work reliably then to most people it would be fair to say it doesn't work at all.
You could say that it does not work at all with bluetooth, but that did not seem to be what you implied.
You implied that follow me doesn't work at all, yet it does with the right equipment... nowhere (that I have seen) is it stated that "follow me" should work out of the box with bluetooth equipment.

Zaerc

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Re: Fiire remote shown in demo
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2007, 09:17:31 pm »
Thanks for clearing that up totallymaxed, I find the walkthrough very helpful.


I have 2 different bluetooth dongles, one is clearly much stronger then the other, maybe we can do a competition to find the worst bluetooth dongle available? ;) Although I guess it would be hard to compare them. 

Another idea might be to get a cheap widely available one and "cripple" it a little, maybe (partially) wrapping it in aluminum foil would even be enough (surprise surprise, I just discovered that I'm out of foil ;D). 
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totallymaxed

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Re: Fiire remote shown in demo
« Reply #21 on: September 27, 2007, 12:40:29 am »
Thanks for clearing that up totallymaxed, I find the walkthrough very helpful.


I have 2 different bluetooth dongles, one is clearly much stronger then the other, maybe we can do a competition to find the worst bluetooth dongle available? ;) Although I guess it would be hard to compare them. 

Another idea might be to get a cheap widely available one and "cripple" it a little, maybe (partially) wrapping it in aluminum foil would even be enough (surprise surprise, I just discovered that I'm out of foil ;D). 

Great idea Zaerc! It might work... as the problem with every Bluetooth dongle we have ever tested is that they just out perform there stated specs by a massive margin. What's needed is a really badly designed one that has terrible range! Maybe some strategically place tin foil might achieve that! ;-)
Andy Herron,
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Zaerc

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Re: Fiire remote shown in demo
« Reply #22 on: September 27, 2007, 01:06:16 am »
Great idea Zaerc! It might work... as the problem with every Bluetooth dongle we have ever tested is that they just out perform there stated specs by a massive margin. What's needed is a really badly designed one that has terrible range! Maybe some strategically place tin foil might achieve that! ;-)

Tell me about it, the "good" one picks up phones from the street below, and I live right next to a pretty busy shopping street.  ;D

Now that I properly understand how this follow-me is supposed to work  :-[ I find it very useful even without it being completely automatic and transparent.  So I just have to switch the phone to a different room manually, big deal.  That's still impressive enough for me, what a neat trick. 

Still I wouldn't mind firing up the old soldering iron to mame a couple of bluetooth dongles, after all how hard can it be to clip it's wings? ;)  But I'm definately going to try foil first, or maybe even a small tin can (oh no, now I have to go through the trash  :-\).

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colinjones

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Re: Fiire remote shown in demo
« Reply #23 on: September 27, 2007, 03:14:19 am »
Zaerc/Totallymaxed

Dunno if you are aware of this (so ignore if you are) BT comes in 3 classes - Class 1 (supposedly) has 100m range, Class 2 has 10m range and Class 3 has only 1m range. I note that when I purchased a dongle recently I actually found it difficult to find Class 2 these days - this used to be the most common class, even the dirt-cheap Chinese no-brand models usually seem to be Class 1 now.

Either way, though, this probably explains some of the observations you are reporting. I think the first step is to ensure that you only use Class 2 devices. I, too, have considered the aluminium foil option! Haven't actually tried it yet, but I suspect that the carrier frequency is too high to have much impact. But I was considering moulding some kind of directional shield and earthing it to the PC chassis....

Col.

Hagen

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Re: Fiire remote shown in demo
« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2007, 10:39:43 am »
My phone uses a class 2 and still has a range of about 15meters, rendering it useless.
Sounds like the tin foil idea might have something going for it, sort of a reversed gain antenna  ;)

Zaerc

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Re: Fiire remote shown in demo
« Reply #25 on: September 27, 2007, 02:32:42 pm »
Thanks for the info colinjones, now if only we could find someone stuck with a boatload of class 3 dongles that nobody wants to buy anymore. ;)

I think the problem with aluminium foil is that it's not magnetic and therefore doesn't shield enough, even wrapping it several times and having it touch the PC case didn't do much either (on the powerfull one, probably class 1).

Using tin cut from a can (watch your fingers! and check with magnet that it's not aluminium as most soda cans are) however I do see a drop in signal strength, not as much as I was hoping for but still it might be enough to tame a class 2 device.  So I'll make another "straight-jacket" for the weak dongle I have and see how that goes.

BTW. I'm checking the signal strength on the phone with the mobile orbiter: 6 (other options) > 5 (advanced options), just in case anyone wonders or maybe has a better way.
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chrisbirkinshaw

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Re: Fiire remote shown in demo
« Reply #26 on: September 27, 2007, 09:49:27 pm »
Could the software be changed so that it reads the bluetooth signal strength and you set a threshold per adapter which determines whether the MD considers the device out of range? Or is there not enough granularity in the reading?


Zaerc

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Re: Fiire remote shown in demo
« Reply #27 on: September 27, 2007, 11:34:21 pm »
Well I still haven't managed to bring the signal strength down enough for my phone to get anywhere near disconnected.  I guess the big advantage here is that you don't need more then one dongle for the whole house. ;D  I'm thinking of buying an el-cheapo one and cracking it open, if only just for the fun of it.

Could the software be changed so that it reads the bluetooth signal strength and you set a threshold per adapter which determines whether the MD considers the device out of range? Or is there not enough granularity in the reading?

I suppose the software could be changed to disconnect at a certain threshold, but I think the problem with that approach is that the signal strength (as displayed) tends to vary.  Could be worth a try though.
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bulek

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Re: Fiire remote shown in demo
« Reply #28 on: September 27, 2007, 11:48:27 pm »
Could the software be changed so that it reads the bluetooth signal strength and you set a threshold per adapter which determines whether the MD considers the device out of range? Or is there not enough granularity in the reading?


Hi,

not sure if I remember right, but with Chris from Pluto we did a lot of discussion on follow me. The problem is that you cannot have one connection active and measure signal on other. So you just have to wait that signal strength falls below some threshold on active one and then search for new one. You actually cannot make transition like "oh there is another dongle with better signal strength". You actually do this "oh signal on this one is below threshold, I'll break up and then try to find another one". Maybe thresholds could be worked to be unique for each dongle - maybe even as device data...

HTH,
regards,

Bulek.
Thanks in advance,

regards,

Bulek.

colinjones

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Re: Fiire remote shown in demo
« Reply #29 on: September 27, 2007, 11:59:30 pm »
Zaerc - you can put in a simple time-based noise filter to deal with that. Either continuous signal averaging (say average of last 5 samples), or better yet a time trigger for the threshhold - there needs to be x samples below the threshhold before the disconnect is triggered and a single sample above the threshhold resets the count x back 0. So if you are sampling every 1 second, x could be 5-7, this would effectively eliminate false negatives and still allow for responsive switching between rooms. You would have to adjust the threshhold, sample rate and x depending on the exact characteristics of the signal you are observing.

The best algorithm would be if the multiple bands across dongles could be sampled simultaneously - doing a slight refinement to the algorithm above would make it practically bullet-proof, but I'm imagining difficult to implement as you would have to coordinate readings from multiple MDs to the Core. Perhaps moving the entire functionality to an orbiter in a handheld device like the Nokias. Have them do the calculation and then send a trigger?