Design Con 2015

Fluke Connect: Never lose touch with measurements

-May 15, 2014

Engineers often need to monitor measurements from across the room or from across the world. With Fluke Connect, you can now get measurements from many Fluke handheld instruments through your smartphone, even if you're far away.

Fluke Connect adds BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) or WiFi capabilities to handheld multimeters, process meters, clamp meters, and infrared thermometers (see list of compatible products) so you can see their measurements with your phone. Here's how it works.

Handheld meters can connect to your phone through BLE using an iOS 7 or Android 4.4 app. Infrared thermometers use WiFi. The app lets you see and record measurements as graphs or in numerical form. If the phone connected to meter is also connected to the internet, you can store data to the cloud with a free Fluke account. If you don't have internet access, the data can be logged locally and when access is restored, it will automatically synchronize to the cloud. The app also lets you take video of what's happening.

This product is featured in EDN's Hot 100 products of 2014. See all 100 here.
Going farther, much farther, the Fluke Connect app has the ability to make a call, then send data, voice, and video to another phone that also runs the app. Think of is as Apple's Facetime for measurements. With two phones connected to the internet, you can see what's happening from anywhere. The app prioritizes what it can send depending on the connection bandwidth. That is, data gets highest priority followed by audio, then video. You can also speak to a person close to the measurements and decide if action is needed.

Fluke has begun adding BLE to its meters and has added WiFi to its infrared thermometers, but what if you already have a Fluke meter and want to use it with Fluke Connect? You don’t necessarily have to buy a new instrument. Infrared thermometers shipped before April 1, 2014 can add a WiFi SD card. Multimeter models 189, 287, 279, and 789 can add BLE through the ir3000 FC adapter, which communicates to the meter through its infrared port.

Although Fluke Connect is aimed at industrial monitoring applications (see video below), you can use it for test. For example, you can have a meter monitor current consumption or battery voltage. But, you need two phones to make Fluke Connect work. If you're away from the lab, a colleague can share test results with you. If you happen to have two phones, you could leave one connected to a meter while you're away. Just make sure the phone is connected to a charger for long tests.

Fluke Connect product page

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