Unlock Your Imagination with Sony’s MESH Tags

Every year, iPhone Life team members visit CES in Las Vegas to see the latest and greatest in consumer electronics. And each year, we give awards to the companies whose products amaze us, peak our interest, and generally improve life with technology. One of our 2016 awards went to MESH Tags ($49.99) by Sony. What you can do with MESH tags is too limiting a question; it would be easier to ask what can’t you do. The possibilities are truly endless, but let’s take a look at the seven different tags available and how you might benefit from each.

Sold separately and in packs, you can collect all the MESH Tags or buy just one. There’s a free app, MESH, that works with the tags, allows you to connect tags and functions in a myriad of ways, and can be downloaded in the App Store. Depending on how you want to use and experiment with them, you can choose which of the tags works best for you. So, what are the options? Let’s run down the list.

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LED Tag

The orange, LED tag allows you to create notifications. You can control the color and pattern of the light as well as brightness and duration. Have the tag tell you the weather outside by color or light up for email notifications. Another idea you can implement, when combining this tag with the Move tag, is to use it as a motion activated light for a closet.

 

Button Tag

The green tag is a simple button that allows you to create your own switch for everyday objects. Assign functions for a press, hold, and double press to the button. You could turn it into a button for taking selfies, playing sound effects, or whatever else you can imagine.

 

Motion Tag

The light blue Motion tag senses human movement in front of the device and has a detection area around 2–3 meters. This tag is perfect for knowing where your pets are in the house or if someone else has entered your space. It can also be used for fun things such as signaling a camera to snap a photo when someone enters a room.

 

Move Tag

The Move tag detects motion patterns. It can send a signal when it’s flipped, shaken, or turned around and can be used in numerous different ways. Give your child's favorite stuffed animal a voice, use it to turn on lights, or add fun sound effects to play sword fights.

 

Brightness Tag

The Brightness tag detects a change in brightness. Use it for security by receiving a notification when someone opens your secret drawer. Or, to add a bonus surprise to a birthday gift by placing it in the box ready to sing Happy Birthday when it’s opened.

 

Temperature & Humidity Tag 

This purple tag lets you know of changes in temperature and humidity. The tag can send a notification to the app when it reaches a certain temperature or can be used to check if the environment is within a certain temperature range.

 

GPIO Tag 

Your imagination is the limit with the gray GPIO tag. Short for General Purpose Input Output, that tag has a digital and analog input/output that connects other sensors, such as light sensors, motors, and written circuit with a conductive pen.

 

MESH App

All the tags come together and function because of how you instruct them to within the MESH app. It’s a very intuitive app that allows you to send and receive information from the MESH Tag, use the microphone, speaker, and camera functions on your iPhone or iPad, control other wireless devices that support MESH, send emails, or send and receive information from the Internet, and whatever else you can dream up.

 

I’ve been playing with the MESH Tags for a few days now, and I feel I’m just scratching the tip of the iceberg. These would be phenomenal in grade-school classrooms, getting children engaged in bringing their ‘what if’ ideas to reality. MESH Tags were originally funded on Indiegogo last year and now stand as another successful campaign from the website. For someone who likes to tinker with gadgets and explore the possibilities, MESH tags are a dream item allowing you to turn regular items into smart devices without the use of any coding. Particularly in a world where coders and engineers are widely needed, MESH is an amazing way to bring your child’s imagination to life and inspire their inner curiosity to learn more.

Watch a demonstration of adults and kids using the different MESH tags below and learn a little more about why Sony has the MESH project and how it can inspire innovation.

Pros:

  • Amazing way to experiment with possibilities for adults and kids.

  • Intuitive app for bringing the elements together

  • Your imagination is truly the limit with MESH Tags

Cons:

  • Slightly pricey at $49.99 plus each; should offer slight discounts for value pack collections.

Final Verdict:

I think this would be really amazing in schools for getting kids engaged in learning. It would also be a great way for parents and their kids to learn and have fun together. You can create simple solutions for things you do everyday or build interesting gadgets without needing to code or to be an engineer. Yet it's also a tool for inspiring kids to become coders and engineers. Awesome product.

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Conner Carey's picture

Conner Carey's writing can be found at conpoet.com. She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.