data logger: EasySense VISION from Data Harvest (2010)
An all-in-one data logger makes measuring and data analysis in science experiments a whole lot simpler. The Data Harvest EasySense VISION competes with devices from manufacturers such as Vernier; PASCO and LogIT. First impressions are that Data Harvest’s implementation of the all-in-one idea is well thought through and should be in the shortlist.
EasySense VISION is a new unit for measuring with sensors from Data Harvest. Its killer features are: a touch-operated colour screen; familiar built-in software and an extremely valuable socket that lets you show readings being taken using a projector and mouse.You don’t even need a PC to use sensors in a science lab because now that capability is built into the VISION itself. The result is that it’s affordable for numerous groups in a class to monitor readings from experiments. Nevertheless, if you do have a PC you can use it to take readings from VISION as well as put collected data into a lab report.
Those who already have similar systems can be reassured that this doesn’t necessarily mean that their system is now obsolete. VISION can replace older Data Harvest loggers that use the same sensors. Thus you don’t have to start over and buy all new kit. You could gain benefit from having just one VISION unit. The sensors are cleverly unusual in their having a chip which stores calibration data to tell VISION how to scale the readings that it collects.
The built-in software will immediately be familiar to users of Data Harvest systems so no relearning is needed. It is easy enough to dive into and play. When VISION is plugged into a projector and used with a mouse, there’s little difference to notice between what you see here and seeing similar on a PC. Something to check for yourself is how well you can use this same software on a tiny touch screen. I’ve not found Windows style-programs particularly ‘finger-friendly’ or suited to the situation. But then, if clumsy, it is perfectly familiar. You can get a full copy of the software for free from www.data-harvest.co.uk).