Design devotee blogs about cities, innovation, architecture and green building.
Bird-brain: Canary smoke detector boasts impressive smarts
Developed for the NYC BigApps competition, the Canary is a multi-tasking, smartphone-managed smoke and carbon monoxide detector-cum-air quality analyzer sporting good looks and remarkable smarts.
Mon, Jul 01, 2013 at 10:09 AM
Although it may not come in the somewhat startling form of an actual songbird
— or a giant pink moth
for that matter — a new smoke detector prototype from a Brooklyn-based development/engineering team of Mark Belinsky, Ashley Williams, and Justin Alvey still manages to offer a sleek alternative to the clunky, quotidian devices that we’re, for better or worse, accustomed/resigned to. And because we live in the time of multi-tasking thermostats
and WiFi-enabled light bulbs
, this is a smoke detector that also brings an ample amount of cloud-based smarts to the home fire prevention market.
The Canary Smart Smoke Detector
, a smartphone-managed device that "looks beautiful on a wall and connects you to the information you need to know" is capable of detecting the presence of both smoke and carbon monoxide (and not just emergency spikes but all
levels) in the home. In addition to sounding an actual alarm, the Canary sends "gratifying" alerts directly to your smartphone (apps for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry apps are all in the works beyond the prototype stage) detailing the situation.
Most conveniently, if the multi-tasking Canary starts chirping like mad in a non-emergency scenario (i.e. burnt toast or a low-battery) you can shut it off remotely without having to begrudgingly go disarm it never to engage it again. And here’s the kicker: the Canary also analyses and provides users with data regarding air quality levels both indoors and out keeping them abreast to potentially harmful levels of pollen, mold, and dust.
And as the Canary Smart Smoke Detector's clever creators explain, the whole shebang is grandma-friendly (although I’m not sure if my own grandma would qualify):
The city is a diverse place. We need to make sure that the system works on any device and in a lot of languages. Customers can pick up the phone [landlines included] and dial their device directly to get updates on the battery, previous alerts and even the air quality outside right now. And of course, in case the alarm goes off, it wil call you with details about the alert and patch you through to the authorities if it's an emergency. Our hardware integrates directly with Twilio for immediate and reliability communication.
More on the Canary, a device designed for the 2013 NYC BigApps
competition, in the video below.
Any thoughts? Would you invest if the Canary Smart Smoke Detector evolved past the prototype stage?
The opinions expressed by MNN Bloggers and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of MNN.com. While we have reviewed their content to make sure it complies with our Terms and Conditions, MNN is not responsible for the accuracy of any of their information.