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What's the difference between the Sniff Controller Basic and Sniff Controller Air? 

The Basic is dependent on USB connectivity for both power and data. It can work only with a desktop or laptop that have a USB-A port, and either Windows or Mac OS. The Air is dependent on Bluetooth for connectivity, and an internal rechargeable battery for power. It can work with any device that has Bluetooth connectivity, cellphones and tablets running on either Android or iOS, as well as Bluetooth-enabled Windows or Mac OS desktops and laptops.

Do I need to charge the Sniff Controller Basic?

No. The Basic is powered by its USB connection.

Do I need to charge the Sniff Controller Air?

Yes. Plug it into any standard USB charging socket, or USB computer port. When fully charged, the charging light indicator will shift from red to blue. Make sure to fully charge your Air before you first use it.

Can I use the Sniff Controller Basic with a cellphone or tablet?

No. Currently the Basic works only with a desktop or laptop computer that have USB connectivity. This includes all Windows and Mac OS machines. If you want to use a
cellphone or tablet, you need to buy the Sniff Controller Air.

Can I use the Sniff Controller Air with a desktop or laptop?

Yes, as long as they have Bluetooth connectivity. The Sniff Controller Air can work with any device that has Bluetooth: cellphone, tablet, laptop, desktop, running on Windows, Android, or Mac OS.

Are Sniff Controllers water-proof?

No, they are not.

For how long can I use a pressure probe before replacement?

You can easily use your PP1 or PP2 pressure probe for 6 months of daily use. If you don’t use your device daily, pressure probes can last for years, as long as they are kept in a clean and dry place.

How can I clean my pressure probe?

If you have access to pressurized air or oxygen, you can place your PP1 or PP2 in boiling water, and then dry it thoroughly by blowing air or oxygen through it for several minutes. If you do not have access to pressurized air or oxygen, do not place your PP1 or PP2 in water, as it will be very hard to dry it afterwards. Instead, use an alcohol swab to clean the nasal prongs, and then let dry. Always store your pressure probes in a clean and dry place, and not in a plastic bag.

My clear pressure probe turned yellowish, is that normal?

Yes, clear medical-grade silicone can obtain a yellowish tint when left in the sun. This is not a cause for concern.

Can I return my Sniff Controller for a refund?

Yes. See our Returns and Warranty policy for details.

Do Sniff Controllers have a warranty?

Yes. See our Returns and Warranty policy for details.

How do I wear the pressure probe?

How can I keep my battery life long and healthy during prolonged storage? 

To increase battery life it is recommended to recharge your Sniff Controller Air after each use.

If stored and not used, the Sniff Controller Air must be recharged once every 6 months to preserve battery capacity

Battery capacity recovery rate [%] changes according with storage temperature

1 Year storage at -20 to 20 °C retains > 90% capacity
3 Month storage at -20 to 45 °C retains > > 90 capacity
1 Month storage at -20 to 60 °C  retains > > 85 capacity


Are Sniff Logic devices accurate?

Our devices currently have a major strength and a relative weakness.

The strength is our temporal resolution and phase determination. In other words, Sniff Logic devices unequivocally determine respiratory phase (inhale vs. exhale), and have supreme temporal resolution and sensitivity. Thus, for determining temporal points such as inhalation onset, peak, phase shift, or trough, we are unaware of any technology that matches ours.

The current weakness of Sniff Logic devices is in absolute value reporting. In other words, the exact value we report in milliliters of flow per second (ml/s) and the derived volume estimations in liters (L) may be off by even tens of percent. This is primarily because of variability resulting from individual pressure-probe placement. To be clear: within-participant values are stable. In other words, if you measure before and after a manipulation and see an X% shift in volume, then this is indeed an X% shift in volume. Similarly, if you see a Y% shift in peak flow, then this is indeed a Y% shift in peak flow (and we are supremely sensitive to such shifts). But our report of what the shift reflects in liters or liters per second should be considered with caution. We are working tirelessly to address this at the calibration software end, and hope to report on improvements with time. But currently, if perfectly precise absolute measures of flow (in ml/s) and volume (in L) are critical for your scientific question, then Sniff Logic may not be the solution for you.  Feel free to contact us with your exact intended scientific scenario, and we will comment on the applicability of our devices.

Are Sniff Logic devices safe for use with human participants in experiments?

Yes. Our devices are CE marked, and have been tested for safety by an independent lab. You can view our safety certificates here.

Can I study different participants using the same device?

Yes, you can. Each participant must have their own pressure probe. You cannot share pressure probes across participants. Using a new independent pressure probe for each participant should provide significant protection from cross-contamination. This is because there is no air-flow through the probe, the probe only carries a pressure wave. Moreover, the common flow path in the distant device consists of only a few millimeters. Thus, the unlikely  risk of contamination reflects the possibility that a pathogen will flow down the pressure wave by Brownian motion, nestle within the sensor, and then flow up the pressure wave again by Brownian motion to reach at the new participant. That said, if you want added protection for your participants, for example if you are studying participants with infectious disease, you can select one of two paths for added protection. First, you can maintain a gap of at least three weeks between participants on the same device. This will overwhelmingly reduce the possibility of a pathogen surviving within the device to then climb back up the pressure wave. Alternatively, you can select the filtered version of the pressure probes. These versions are more expensive, but protect the device from any cross-contamination. 

Are SniffLogic devices MRI compatible?


However, the devices can be used in MRI research using the long extension lines, which are MRI compatible, as are the pressure probes. In a typical setting you will use the 10-meter extension line. Pull the line from the magnet room, through the wave-guide, and into the control room. Connect the control-room end of the extension to your device (Basic, Air, or Holter), and connect the magnet-room end of the extension to a pressure probe (PP1, PP2 or PP3) that you can apply to the participant.


At what frequency do the devices sample?

The Basic samples at 200Hz, and the Air samples at either 6Hz or 15Hz, as selected by the user (we expect to add higher frequencies for the Air in the future). You will need to charge your Air more frequently when sampling at higher rates.

Can I write my own application for the Sniff Controller?

Yes. You can download the Sniff Controller SDK here. If you generated an application that you would like to share, please tell us about it. If we get several, we will build a community page.

SniffScience Desktop tips

For SniffScience Desktop to run optimally, it is recommended to use a dedicated workstation to run the software without any heavy processes running in the background. Specifically, if you plan to present participants with a cognitive task, it is recommended to run it on a separate workstation.

What data is stored in the saved SniffScience files?

  • The logs, stored as CSV files, contain several timeseries logs, arranged into columns with the following header: 

    • Time - continuous time

    • Delta - sampling time in discrete intervals, in respect to time 0 

    • Value - airflow measurement

What software do I need to use the analogue-to-serial TTL cable with SniffScience?

SniffScience supports FTDI TTL to UART cable through their d2xx driver:

Note: if the cable doesn't show up please refer to the installation guide:


Question 1

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_______ ________ _____ ______ ______ _________ ________ _____ ______ ______ _________ ________ _____ ______ ______ _________ ________ _____ ______ ______ _________ ________ _____ ______ ______ __

Question 2


Question 3 

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Can't find what

you're looking for? 


Will the Sniff Controller work for me or for the person I am caring for?

We cannot say with confidence who will benefit from the Sniff Controller. As a rule, if a person can generate an audible inhalation (sniff) or exhalation upon request, then they will likely be able to gain control over the sniff-controller.

Who is the Sniff Controller intended for?

The setting where the sniff controller has the greatest advantage is in establishing initial communication. Initial contact following brain injury, whether from stroke or trauma, can be challenging. In many cases a person may retain functions that allow communication, firstly speech, or secondly pressing a button, nodding with the head, and so on. Such indications may all be easier to obtain than communication with the Sniff Controller. However, when all else fails, the Sniff Controller may allow communication. We stress, however, that a person may be fully cognizant, yet still unable to communicate with the Sniff Controller. Finally, we again reiterate the following disclaimer: Our products are not sold as Medical Devices as defined in EU directive 93/42/EEC. Our products are not designed or intended to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any disease. Always consult with your doctor on any medical issues.

Will the Sniff Controller work for individuals with a tracheostomy?

Rarely. If the tracheostomy balloon cuff is inflated, the Sniff Controller will not work. If the balloon cuff is deflated, or a tracheostomy without a balloon is in place, the Sniff Controller can work, but the likelihood isn’t high.

What is the difference between Sniff Logic devices and “Sip and Puff” technology?

The primary difference is in reliance on nasal rather than oral airflow. This has advantages and disadvantages. With Sip and Puff, the user has to have sufficient coordination in order to move their mouth to cover the straw, and then wrap their lips around the straw. With Sniff Logic technology, this degree of coordination is not necessary. In other words, Sniff Logic technology may allow communication in cases where Sip and Puff will not.

Frequently Asked Questions

Video guides

User manuals

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