December 5/12, 2016; Volume 31, Number 13
By Lindsay Baillie
The creator of Fidbox—an electronic device installed underneath a wood floor that logs environmental condition data—has unveiled Hmbox, a handy digital device that installers can use as a moisture and temperature measuring device. User friendly and non-destructive, Hmbox provides accurate data to determine the potential for a proper floor covering installation.
“The Hmbox monitors the job site and vapor emissions coming from different floor construction materials,” said Scott Taylor, sales representative, Fidbox. “It uses a cellular connection where [installers] can monitor a completed job site without ever having to go back.”
For added convenience, the Hmbox uses a cellular connection—an upgrade from the Fidbox, which uses Bluetooth technology to download data. The Hmbox sends two transmissions a day via the cellular connection and within those transmissions the device sends 24 readings or one per hour. The readings contain the relative humidity (rH) of the ambient room conditions along with temperature and also the vapor emission in a rH value for the subfloor and a temperature. What’s more, these readings can be viewed and printed from a cellular device.
“Up until now people have just been able to go to the job site and take readings,” Taylor explained. Unlike some products that generate unreliable readings, he said the accuracy of Hmbox is 0.5%. “Armstrong has tested it and said it is highly effective.”
While the Hmbox was developed after the Fidbox and operates differently, there are certain advantages to using each product. “The Hmbox battery lasts two years and after that you can actually unscrew the backing and replace the battery,” Taylor said. “The Fidbox lasts six years but you can’t replace the battery.” Fidbox’s longer battery life is due to its single download of data per day, unlike Hmbox’s twice-a-day transmissions.
As Taylor explained, the two systems actually work in tandem. “The Hmbox is seen as our pre-installation product and the Fidbox is the post-installation tool.”
Hmbox makes its commercial debut at Surfaces 2017.