App-enabled Connected Home devices are becoming more common these days, but for now it’s unlikely that anyone besides the most technoholic would buy more than one or two devices for their own home. The market is crowded, and the customer must choose carefully. A new option called the Birdi (fittingly, formerly the Canary), now available for Kickstarter donations, is yet another great choice that combines the capabilities of multiple devices in an intelligent way. With local climate sensors like the GE Spotter jockeying with more conventional smoke alarms like the Nest Protect for the title of many peoples’ first connected device, it’s nice to see the two concepts working together in a device that gives you useful information about your home even when there isn’t an emergency.
Birdi’s awareness of the time of day is one of its most important ‘smart’ features; by knowing when you’re asleep, for example, it can track rising pollution levels, temperature, or dryness that may be interfering with your sleep quality, but it won’t bother you when you don’t want to be disturbed – unless there’s an emergency. Birdi can also react to CO2 levels and alerts about natural disasters. It’s a social device as well; the app can connect to a variety of people in your neighborhood, and even relatives far away who may only have landlines, and alert them to potential problems. After alerting everyone in your household, the app allows you to collectively decide whether an alarm is an actual emergency, a false alarm, or an uncertain case.