flowOS 2.0 was launched on 11.11.2019 with a new firmware updater (v1.1.3) and a significant firmware update for both capsule 2.0 & vision props! We've made incremental improvements since - as of February 2020, we are at flowOS 2.3



released February 2020

-- these notes cover 2.0 and 2.3 --


flowOS 2.0 represents a major milestone in the flowtoys flowOS operating system for capsule 2.0 and vision core lights. 


How to tell if you have flowOS 1.X or 2.X 

  1. In flowOS 2.X: charging indicator goes completely dark for a few seconds between each indicator. 
  2. flowOS1.x does not have show pages 8 and 9 - page indicator blinks 8 or 9 times, they are pre-loaded with 1 red mode, like page 4


Most of the user interface and mode layout are the same as flowOS1.X, so there isn’t much you NEED to know, but there are many improvements and new features - details below:

  • Grouping has changed A LOT!:
    • New “quick-group” feature enables super-simple grouping: Just hold the button from off for about 10 sec. until the light turns white - they group and save automatically!
    • New “open groups” are intended for temporary grouping and can be quickly joined as a group, but cannot be saved. See advanced grouping below for details.


  • Many modes have been significantly updated, especially with kinetic awareness 2.0, which enables most modes to respond to movement in subtle and complex ways, improving the look and feel, offering more creative and interesting responses to play with, and making your props come alive.
  • New “Show” pages (P8 and P9) enable dedicated “shows” of up to 60 modes to be saved from the favorites page.
  • Default brightness is now level 4: same brightness as level 3 used to be, so we have more levels of “less bright” to choose from, and level 5 is simply “max bright”
  • Page 3 modes are now the same brightness as the other pages.
  • Autoplay modes, including adjusted interval timing, can now be saved to favorites (except P5M11 "random-autoplay” and P4 “favorites” autoplay).
  • Modes can be saved to favorites in “adjust” and will retain the adjust position. So if you save bold in adjust when it is green, it will start at green in favorites, and continue adjusting. This can be very useful for shows. Or if you simply like fire mode in adjust where its color is always changing, you can save it that way and not have to enter adjust every time.
  • “Adjust” state is retained after off or auto-sleep/wake, even if not saved.
  • P5 random autoplay now includes all P13 modes.
  • Auto-sleep/wake is now disabled when in P5/settings modes (but does work on P5M11: random autoplay).
  • Most mode adjust types and speeds have been matched between capsule 2.0 and vision core for better syncing.
  • New “Radio test” mode: P5M9
  • Temp. settings retained: open groups and un-saved adjustments in settings are now retained/kept when auto-sleep/wake kicks in.
  • Temp settings and open groups retained when going past the last mode in a page (which = off) to P1M1. if left off, after 1 minute it is treated as an intentional shut-off and temp settings are lost.
  • Any page above 12 = P13. so just go for a 15-click to make it easy ;)
  • P5M10 Reset to defaults now resets ALL settings AND erases all shows and favorites, AND turns off, as a group. 



NEW FEATURE DETAILS


1. quick-group connection

  • from off: Hold for ~10 sec. until flashing/solid white. Let go. THAT’S IT! 
  • this creates a unique group with any other flowtoys connect light in quick-group mode, there is no limit to how many can join the group.
  • this is what you should see: 
    • battery level indicator → most recent mode (keep holding!) → flashing white/solid white (you can let go when it turns white)
  • if you want to add more lights to the group later, you can create a new quick-group with all the lights, or see “advanced grouping” to broadcast the group ID and connect more lights.
  • quick group indicators:

fast flashing white = connecting, trying to connect to existing group.

solid white = grouped, inviting others to connect.


2. advanced grouping (P5M1):

→ significant paradigm shift from previous grouping paradigm!

  • White = “closed” group, also created by quick-group → requires connection procedure.
  • red = no group (saves automatically, do not stop in red unless you want to delete your grouping!)
  • orange, green, aqua, blue, pink = “open” groups. Simply select the color to be in the group, no connection procedure needed. 
    • To prevent accidental editing or control of your props by others, open groups are always temporary, they cannot be saved
    • favorites cannot be saved
    • settings can be changed as a group, but not saved
    • grouping cannot be changed as a group or saved, but grouping does change locally, so you can leave the group.
    • To quickly disband an open group and revert everyone back to their previous closed groups, go to P5M1 and “delete” the open group. 
    • To prevent accidental group-off or ungroup, “off” and group-adjust only work locally, on the unit whos button you are pressing.


If you want to add more lights to the group, you can create a new quick-group with all the lights, OR add individual lights to the existing group as follows:


Connecting procedure for closed (white) group: 

  • set one light from the existing group to “broadcast” mode: 
    • navigate to P5M1
    • adjust to white
    • “double adjust” (hold-to-adjust twice while white, before it changes to the next color) 
    • light should now be flashing white.
  • you can use quick-group to join the broadcasting group, OR adjust to white and select (if already white, enter adjust, and select, no need to cycle through all colors)
  • You can adjust and join a group as a group.
  • when you are done connecting other lights to the group, press the button on the broadcasting light once to leave broadcast/inviting mode.
  • if your light is already in a white group and you want to create a new group with that light, go to quick-group.


NOTES ON GROUPING: 

  • If there is another group “inviting” within radio range, you will see a red/white flashing “grouping conflict” indicator. Simply try again. You may need to wait a bit for whoever may be creating the grouping conflict to finish their process.
  • In order to change/disconnect some lights from an existing group, you can quick-group them, OR adjust your group to red (no group) OR solo-on only the lights you want to change.
  • After grouping and in some solo-on and auto-wake scenarios, you may need to press the button twice, or once on each light, to get them to respond to the group.
  • When updating firmware from 1.X to 2.X, grouping will NOT be retained.
  • Grouping IS retained when updating firmware within a version (2.0 to 2.3 for example)
  • Grouping may not work between different firmware versions. Make sure all your lights have the same firmware version, (or most recent version if different lights, eg. capsule and club)


3. Show pages - Page 8 & 9: for advanced favorites users only!

  • Save favorites auto-play to create a show page, which can be used like extra favorites pages, and/or for dedicated shows.
  • There are 2 show pages, 8 and 9.
  • New show page goes in P8, existing P8 moves to P9, P9 is lost.
  • Delete P8 to avoid losing P9, P9 will move to P8, until you save a new P8.
  • Default show page is 1 red mode (like favorites)
  • You can save “show page autoplay” to favorites, including adjusted interval timing.
  • Any show page (P8 or P9) autoplay that is saved to favorites will not be included when a new show page is created (the saved show page autoplay mode is omitted, all other modes remain).
  • P1-3 autoplay saved to favorites ARE included in new show pages
  • Editing/deleting/replacing a show page will edit/delete the version saved to favorites
  • Show pages can be edited just like the favorites page, but you can not save new modes directly to a show page.
  • Saving a mode in a show page will save it to favorites (p4m1), not duplicate it to the show page’s mode1 (as it does in favorites/p4) → this enables you to use show pages like banks of custom modes you can use for creating shows in your favorites, or as a way of re-organizing your show page by saving the modes in a new order in favorites and then saving favorites as a new show page.


4. Radio test mode P5M9: red/blue alternating

  • Indicates percentage of packets received in 1s period with color: green = 100% red = less than 20%. 
  • This can be used to test the effective range, in a noisy stage environment for example. Can the remote be in the lighting booth with all the equipment running and still control your props reliably? This will give you some indication, though nothing beats real-world testing under actual conditions.
  • This can also help find a faulty radio in some cases. Even if you only have 2 lights, you can often determine which of the two radios is bad. Usually a bad radio can receive well, but not transmit well, so take a turn transmitting with each light, and receiving with the other. When the receiver is flashing red, it is usually the other light (blue) which is bad. You may need to move them far apart/intentionally weaken the signal with barriers, like your hands and body, or walls, for this to work. A good radio can function at over 100m line-of-sight in ideal conditions.
  • Lights do not need to be grouped for this test to work, they can even be from different groups
  • Adjust to red and select to receive: light will pulse white followed by a color every second
  • green = more than 80% of packets received in 1 second. 
  • red = less than 20% received. orange = ~50%.
  • Adjust to blue and select to transmit.
  • You can only transmit with 1 at a time. If 2 are transmitting, it will display pink to indicate conflict.



 BUG FIXES from 2.0 to 2.3

  • end of page cycle to P1M1 no longer results in some lights showing a faulty mode
  • Group-on more reliable: eg. when remote units are plugged in to USB and controller is not,  after the lights have been off for over 1 minute.
  • adjusted favorite modes no longer revert to default adjustment after off-on or auto-sleep. Re-navigating to the same mode shows it’s saved adjustment.
  • P4 and P5 autoplay can now be saved to P4-favorites
  • Deleting a mode in favorites or show pages (P4, P8, P9) no longer also deletes other modes on some group members only, causing the mode order/show to become out of sync. sometimes even the entire page of modes is deleted.
  • Quick-group no longer creates the same group ID, even if done at different times and locations.
  • update from 1.xx firmware versions no longer retains colored group, but can buggy because of new open group behavior. Re-group if needed.



KNOWN BUGS in flowOS 2.3

  • Due to memory limitations, Capsule P13 only has 34 unique modes, and repeats last 16 modes to match vision props, which have 50 P13 modes.
  • Brightness setting carries over during firmware update, this is not a true bug, but new default is level 4, previous default was level 3, new level 3 is dimmer than level 4, so update might make your prop dimmer. 
  • Indicator delays pattern: While in adjust, the light being used as the controller goes out of sync with the rest of the group. Once an adjustment is selected, it mostly syncs back up. Also when adjusting brightness (P5M2), after selecting an adjustment.
  • If turning on a group member when some of the group is already on, it may join the group’s current mode, or it may take over the group, it’s not consistent.
  • Many P5 indicators have an extra flash to them (Vision props only)
  • settings indicators get out of sync, the controlling light is delayed by its indicator
  • white-balance adjust as a group gets out of sync, the controlling light is delayed by its indicator
  • bold and bolder do not randomize in random autoplay.
  • P5M11 (random autoplay) can not be saved to favorites
  • P4 (favorites) autoplay can not be saved to favorites
  • temp settings of controlling unit are retained for 1 minute after off/group off
  • grouping: stopping on red wipes grouping/saves red/no group
  • save/duplicate mode in p8,p9 duplicates to P4M1. this was intentional, but can be confusing.
  • auto-sleep can kick in during long button hold like deleting favorites causing some units to not delete. Recommended to temp-disable auto-sleep before editing favorites.
  • After grouping and in some solo-on and auto-wake scenarios, you may need to press the button twice, or once on each light, to get them to respond to the group.