Prototype of  Roost Prototype of   Roost

Wi-Fi 9V battery for smoke and CO alarms made by Roost. Connect to the Roost App to get alerts when you are away.

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Roost

Your House Will Chirp No More

Smart smoke alarms have proven to be an easy entry point for mainstream consumers to welcome the Internet of Things into their homes. One of their main selling points is also a huge boost to fire safety: Low-battery warnings come via a smartphone notification, instead of the incessant 3 a.m. chirping that all too often results in a smoke alarm being pulled from the ceiling, stripped of its batteries, and stuffed in a closet where it can’t do its job of protecting the home.

Roost offers a new take on this problem. Instead of replacing the whole alarm with an expensive new smart gadget, why not replace just the offending element -- the battery -- with one that’s smarter?

The Roost Smart Battery fits into any 9V terminal, so it can retrofit smoke alarms and other legacy electronics. But instead of being a solid block of electrochemicals, it’s actually two components. One is a replaceable lithium battery pack that lasts up to five years. The other is a low-power WiFi board that sends instant notifications if the alarm sounds, and lets you know when the battery does finally run low without the smoke alarm making a peep. Pop the battery out, snap on a fresh lithium pack, and you’re good for the rest of the decade.

Smart Battery Alarm: Roost

Thanks to the relentless march of technological progress, eventually all the world’s smoke alarms will be smart. But early adoption isn’t always feasible or affordable, so an elegant retrofit is an important step along the way. Other recent retrofit products we’ve recently seen in the smart home space include:

Ember: A smart light socket for legacy bulbs

Rise: Raises and lowers window blinds using solar power

Ambi Climate, Tado Cooling: Internet-connected IR emitters to control AC units

Leeo: Listens for the sound of a smoke alarm and sends alerts over the Internet

Roost raised almost $1 million in a seed round before announcing itself in summer 2014, and added nearly $100k more from a Kickstarter campaign that ended in December. Roost Smart Batteries can now be preordered through the company’s website, and should ship in June.

Learn more in the video below.

Related: Leeo, Tethercell

By
Ted Burnham

Professional Combobulator

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