Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fun Home Gadgets

When we first moved into this house last year we decided to try out what sounded like a fun new home gadget and replaced the old thermostats with new ones made by Nest.  I never really thought I could love something as boring and usually ugly as a thermostat, but these things are small, streamlined and easy to program and adjust.  Both of our Nests connect to each other and our phones through wifi, and over time they can track your preferences and how often when you're home in order to lower your energy bill and make your house more efficient.  And the best part is, I don't even have to get up to change the temperature;) 

Now Nest is coming out with a new home gadget that I am dying to buy.  All of that creative, problem solving energy that somehow made thermostats exciting has now been focused on smoke detectors.  

Normally I detest smoke alarms.  Hate them.  They're ugly, they're impossible to stop before major hearing loss if they go off, and somehow the piercing signal alerting that the battery is low only sounds in the middle of the night.  If Nest can manage to create a smoke alarm that doesn't make me want to drive over it with my car, then I will buy it for sure!  According to the descriptions and the reviews coming out, it sounds like they may have done it.  

Like the thermostats, the smoke alarms connect to each other wirelessly so that if a problem is detected in the living room, all of the units go off.  Rather than provoking heart attacks with a shrill alarm immediately, the Nests first announce calmly that smoke is detected and tell you where.  And when you want to turn it off, no need to risk your life on a ladder-- just wave your hand up in front of it.  

To solve the problem of the change-battery-now earsplitting alert, the geniuses at Nest created a soft light on their units, which simply changes from green to yellow when the power is low.  

Who knew a smoke detector could actually be exciting? :)



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