Steven Levy on a $130 talking smoke detector
Nest Protect also knows when a warning isn’t necessary. By analyzing sensor data (things like smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide levels), the system determines whether a situation is something to be concerned about. Eventually, having users specify where in the house the device will be installed could play into it too. If a unit is in the bathroom, its sensors could understand that the steam from a shower isn’t anything to warn people about. The devices have the capability now, but Nest has to wait on regulatory changes to activate them. And because Nest devices are connected to each other by Wi-Fi, the voice can also tell you where danger lies. If there’s a problem in the kids’ bedroom, every device in the house will tell you just that.
It's easy to approach this with a wary eye -- a thermostat is real chore to install and Nest's smarter replacement can save a homeowner serious money, whereas a smoke detector is $5 and you can just slap it on the ceiling. When you factor in false "burned toast" positives, the hassle of tracking down whichever one is chirping incessantly, and the fact that these guys are making nice versions of ugly-but-ubiquitous household appliances, maybe? I feel like their gameplan, ultimately, must be to fix the maddening, wallwart-carbuncled, powerstrip-knotted household power distribution situation.
SOG’s $60 Sync II “wearable belt buckle” multitool isn’t the only multitool/buckle on the market, but it does add a couple very sensible innovations, like a clip-on/clip-off base that lets you use your tool without taking off your belt, and a squared-off form factor (like a pair of folding travel sewing scissors) that adapts the […]
This week on Cool Tools’ Maker Update: Kitty Grabs Gold, a beer cooler that follows you, the Circuit Playground Express, Adafruit and Microsoft, Other Machine Co. and Bre Pettis, Tinkercad Lego export, a great kit for gadget and toy hacking, and Maker Faires. Our featured Cool Tool is the iFixit Electronics Tool Kit. Check out […]
The mechanical Royal Kludge keyboard (Update: in stock here) seems to do well with Amazon reviewers, but there are no guarantees you’ll receive one with the coveted OFF/NO switch.
If you don’t want to get stuck footing the bill for a hit and run, this dashboard-mounted camera offers up to 2K resolution to make sure you always have a reliable witness, and it’s available in the Boing Boing Store for 30% off it’s usual price.The PapaGo mounts unobtrusively to your windshield to see everything […]
While some people still maintain that everything in Apple’s walled garden “just works” and is immune to the rampant malware of the Windows world, the reality is different. The Mac’s growing market share has made it a much more viable target for malicious actors, and its built-in tools aren’t always enough to fix things. Drive […]
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]