I have a couple of light with Anduril. Personally I prefer a good intuitive simple UI over something as complicated as Anduril, with too many points of failure when you have to click more then 3 times to get something done.
Has anyone thought before of an bluetooth flashlight/app combination? Maybe something for Sofirn/Wurkkos or other flashlight brands to work on?
I want to Bluetooth between my phone and Anduril flashlight for sound activation. It’d be cool to play a thunderstorm recording! Oh, maybe not what you’re talking about!
Yes, there have been some discussions on the idea amongst members.
Do I understand correctly that you feel that having to take out your smartphone in order to change a setting on your flashlight, would be easier than doing the same with a flashlight that has on-board settings control (Andúril)?
Also, changing a setting on a household, lamp-installed Hue Lightbulb isn’t quite an equal comparison to a flashlight.
I was thinking the same thing. BT control can be very handy for lots of things, but a flashlight is just not one of them… for me anyway. I want to just take the light out and use it without depending on some other device that may not be available.
I would like to see a flashlight as versatile as Anduril, but with the bulk of the configuration handled out of band so the ‘daily driver’ UI can be simpler. Unfortunately the expense of adding USB support, bluetooth, etc is apt to drive up the cost of the controller considerably.
Having all the config onboard, configured with just one button and one pixel, is definitely not ideal. It makes the interface pretty complex, and it’s difficult for new users to find, understand, and configure settings.
So it’d be nice to have some sort of GUI to configure things. But that comes with a whole new set of complications. So I don’t plan on doing that until/unless Anduril 3 happens… and that’ll require a much bigger control chip.
Until then, the user has a few options:
Use the defaults.
Switch to advanced mode, read the manual, and configure stuff as desired using the button. Optionally go back to simple mode afterward, to avoid accidental changes.
Use a flashing adapter to set new defaults or otherwise customize things. This can go as deep as desired, and some people make extensive changes to the interface or even build their own.
Here’s how I personally configure most new lights:
Factory reset: Loosen, hold, tighten, keep holding, release after ~5s
Go to advanced mode, then turn on: 10H, then 1C
Set my preferred brightness levels and memory style:
3C: change to the stepped ramp
1H: Ramp to step 2/7 or 3/7
10C: Save this brightness as the manual memory level
10H opt 2, 1H: Enable the memory timer and set it to 10 minutes
That’s it, for most lights. Some need the smooth ramp floor set to a lower level, some need the RGB aux color changed to voltage mode, and some benefit from a bit of minor hardware calibration like adjusting voltage readings. And multi-channel lights have additional configuration to choose which channels I want and where.
Mostly though… usage is just 1 click on/off, sometimes holding to change brightness, and glancing at the aux colors once in a while to see the battery status.
That is the truth. I was intimidated by Andruil initially. I still have to dig out the diagram for some things. Commonly used stuff I remember. But is still more damn button presses than is ideal. Fortunately, once I get a light setup the way I want it, I don’t typically mess with it. Though it is still more involved than I like to do some things, like changing from strobe to beacon or the like.
But , as much as a GUI on an external device would be useful and cool (maybe as an addition rather than to replace onboard flashlight controls), I don’t think the trade offs are worth it. At least with the current state of the technology.
As for the original question. I think the flashlight manufacturers will eventually look at this. In an era where people seem to want to control everything from their devices, it would seem to be inevitable. But it is a question of cost versus sales potential. It would seem that so far the balance is not in favor of doing it.
I just cant begin to fathom juggling a smartphone running an app to change settings in one hand and a flashlight in the other, especially in real world use conditions.
The whole concept is exceedingly and unnecessarily complicated. In my experience, Bluetooth connections have proven finicky and unreliable with constant pairing nightmares galore. Even the chance of such frustration negates any benefit i can think of.
Makes me think of those $500 Nike sneakers with motorized automated self-tying laces and programmable RGB LEDs that are completely Bluetooth programmed. Novelty technology thats simply ridiculous. But if its your thang…
OTOH, the integrated wireless remote on the Wuben A1 is a clever idea: able to control several units at once or individually. Practical bells and whistles for a $1000 light.
For myself I can only tout the virtues of Anduril for its range of customization options and superb functionality. I hold Toykeeper in highest regard and am immensely grateful for her continual contributions to a superlative interface that’s become second nature to me and a joy to use. Especially considering its adaptation across several manufacturers addressing us gonzo crazy enthusiasts.
Immeasurable thanks, TK… for who you are and what you do to make us multitudes happy and educate us.
It’s not about operating your flashlight via an app, it’s more about being able to do these annoying configurations that are hidden deep in some Anduril2 menu comfortably on your Smartphone - optionally.
I’m using plenty of BT devices in my home and I have zero (really zero) issues with connections dropping or having to repair devices.
For me - similar to how @Valynor put it - the benefit would be removing set-and-forget configuration from the daily use UI. Ala thermal limits, step count, aux LED config, min/max levels, timeouts, etc … all stuff that you tend to futz with once then never mess with again.
And of all the ways to do this I think a phone app would be the bottom of the list for me - I would need to push a config to the light very occasionally thus a USB port would work great. Could even be inboard and skip the temptation to make it a charging port.
Wished for feature of course - I’ve no real inclination of the associated additional development burdens nor the additional cost to the BOM.
I see what you mean. The ability to customize a daily use UI via an app as a sort of initial one time setup thing would be useful and I agree the way to go about it is with a hard wire USB connection. Thats much more muggle friendly than a flashing kit for an ordinary user.
I suppose i have an inbred dislike of the modern trend of replacing dedicated hardware switchgear with layers of graphic configuration menu trees and the like on an overabundance of capacitive touchscreens.
For example instead of intuitive (simple) switches for car functions, like HVAC controls, nowadays its de rigueur to be distracted be sorting through touchscreen menus just to turn the A/C on.
For me the simple, direct approach is best. I dont need a digital paper clip.
I find it quite remarkable that a UI like Anduril with its rich feature set and customizability is accomplished with a single electronic switch. Thats TK’s genius. Reminds me of the historic Apollo Guidance Computer achieving its goals with analog circuits and hardwired memory fed by punchcards.
I have to admit a strong dislike for Bluetooth given the inconsistencies ive experienced with it. Wireless sure is covenient when it works but i regard it as a Lesser Evil
It could be as simple as a formatted text file, although by that point might as well do a simple application to build the config file, which could be a website or something readily distributable via … as much as I detest it … java. Presumably it would validate the config before applying with the ability to revert to a known good config from the base program.
Dreams at this point that I simply wish for however.
It is ultimately all in there. Just a lot of complexity for a single button and only one predictable output.