You don’t have to replace all your existing appliances with expensive smart ones in order to have a smart home. Instead, you make your existing appliances smarter by adding on “smartness”. For example, Roost, a Wi-Fi enabled 9V battery—and accompanying app—that turns your existing smoke detector into cutting-edge connected smart appliance by connecting it to the internet.
Brian Barrett, Wired Business:
It sends you a notification in the event of the alarm being triggered, in case you’re away from home, and lets you know when it’s running out of juice, so that you can replace it well before that late-night “low battery” chirping drives you insane.
It does all of this for $40, which might sound expensive for a battery, but is less than half the cost of a similarly smart Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. The Protect has a few more tricks, but as Roost CEO Roel Peeters is quick to point out, it and other out-of-the-box smart home solutions also require time-consuming installation.
The Roost will launch later this year, but there’s a more hands-on smart home strategy that you can buy right now. LittleBits, a company focused demystifying the world of DIY electronics, introduced its $249 Smart Home Kit last November.
The Smart Home Kit contains 14 LittleBits “modules”—including a temperature sensor, MP3 player, infrared transmitter, and more—along with accessories that help those units communicate with each other and the outside world. As you might have gathered, whereas Roost offers a vision of clever, simple, single-solution upgrades, the Smart Home Kit proposes something a little more involved. But with that elbow grease comes a lot more freedom, at less expense.
Read more at: How to Build a Smart Home With Your Own Dumb Stuff | WIRED.