We were impressed with CubeSensors home and office environment sensors when we tried them earlier this year, though we did have some minor grumbles. Now, the firm behind them is hoping to crowdfund a trio of new generation sensors on Indiegogo. The Koto smart sensors are said to address most of the issues we had with the original CubeSensors, along with adding new features such as IFTTT support and storm warnings.
Like CubeSensors before them, Koto smart sensors are small unobtrusive sensor-packed devices which are intended to be deployed around your home or office where they measure things like light, temperature, noise and humidity. A companion iOS/Android/web app will then advise you on how to make those rooms more conducive to working, resting, and keeping you healthy. This could be by doing something as simple as opening a window, turning on light, or dialing up the heating.
While CubeSensors only came in one flavor, the Koto smart sensors are set to come in three: Blink, Air, and Storm. These can be used individually or in various combination configurations depending on which variables you want to monitor in each room. The new sensors are also no longer dependent on a base station.
Koto Blink is the entry-level device and is able to measure temperature, humidity, light and noise. The small cube comes in a variety of colors and features a rechargeable battery which is reported to last months at a time. It can save data offline for two weeks, and uses Bluetooth LE for wireless connectivity.
The next model up is the Koto Air, which is said to be the best option for bedrooms as it adds monitoring of dust and air pollution levels, enabling it to give you advice on keeping healthier. It, too, saves data offline for two weeks, and uses Bluetooth, but needs to be connected to a power supply. As with the Koto Blink, and the original CubeSensors, shaking the Koto Air prompts it to light up and let you know if you need to change something in the room.
Finally, the Koto Storm is a bigger device which looks like a sunken cube and includes an LED matrix display for showing environmental readings, real-time alerts and notifications, along with being able to be used as a clock. It can monitor temperature, humidity, light, noise, barometric pressure, and detect approaching storms. It also benefits from Wi-Fi connectivity in addition to Bluetooth, meaning it can sync online in real time and connect to other Koto sensors, allowing you to check on your home while out.
An issue we had during our tests with the CubeSensors was being unable to access historical data to track the impact of using them. This has been addressed and the new apps will show detailed history of tracked data for at least a week, and show average, high and low readings on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis.
The welcome addition of IFTTT support in the new range also means they can be used to send instructions to your smart thermostat, connected lights and other connected devices. Obviously this is going to work best if you have the Koto Storm, otherwise you are going to be dependent on syncing with your smartphone. Current CubeSensor users needn’t feel left out as the original units will work with the new Koto smart sensors.
The Koto Blink is currently listed on Indiegogo for an early-bird pledge of US$69, while a Koto Air is $119, and the Koto Storm $149. Once those initial levels run out you’re looking at $89, $139 and $179, respectively. Various bundle combinations are also available. Should everything go to plan, the Koto smart sensors should start shipping in February 2016.
You can check out a promo video for the Koto smart sensors below.