High-Tech Smoke Alarm Connects to Your Smartphone

Dennis Faas's picture

For some people $129 may be a lot of money for a smoke alarm. But the new 'Nest Protect' is packed with technologies not usually included with your average smoke alarm.

The device is the work of Nest Labs, a company that made its name a couple of years ago with an automatically adjusting thermostat capable of cutting energy bills by up to 20 per cent.

The company's new smoke alarm features built-in WiFi. It automatically sends messages to your mobile phone when the batteries are beginning to run low and will also send an alert if it detects a fire -- meaning that if you are away from home you can call a neighbor right away and have them check on the house and call the authorities if required.

Carbon Monoxide Detector Can Switch Off Furnace

The Nest Protect can also detect the difference between harmless steam and dangerous smoke. It can even detect rising carbon monoxide levels. If you own Nest's thermostat as well, the Protect can automatically switch off your furnace if there appears to be a carbon monoxide issue.

Nest say the technology is as much about false alarms as the real thing, reasoning that this is one of the biggest drawbacks of traditional smoke detectors. If the alarm is triggered, it gives out a quieter, spoken alert for a few seconds before the full alarm sounds. (Source: yahoo.com)

The idea is that this "pre-alarm" is short enough that it doesn't put you in any extra danger, but long enough that you can intervene if it's a false alarm. To switch the Nest Protect off in a false alarm situation, you simply wave your hand underneath the alarm, meaning you don't need to find a chair or step ladder to reach a button.

Green Ring Helps You Sleep Soundly

The high-tech alarm also regularly checks to see if its components are working properly. It features a glow-in-the-dark green ring that indicates everything is in order, making it easy to check and get reassurance before going to bed.

You can power the device through a wired power cable or three ordinary AA batteries. The makers believe the device should run for five years before the batteries need changing. (Source; nbcnews.com)

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