"Smart" smoke and CO2 detectors can do all sorts of clever things, such as notifying absent homeowners via their smartphone if the alarm goes off. However, what if you’ve already got a perfectly good "dumb" detector that you don’t want to replace? Well, you’ll soon be able to give it some brains, in the form of the Roost battery.
The Roost looks like a conventional 9-volt battery, and in fact the top part of it is a replaceable lithium battery that should last for five years of normal use. The detachable module on the bottom, however, allows it to communicate with your home Wi-Fi network.
If the alarm goes off (the make or model doesn’t matter) that module will send you an alert on your mobile device via a free iOS/Android app, no matter where you are. If you wish, it can also notify family members, neighbors, or other people of your choice.
Additionally, in order to keep you from being woken up in the middle of the night by a low-battery chirp (or missing it by not being home when it goes off), it will also notify you when the battery is getting low – before it gets to the chirping stage.
Finally, if you accidentally set the detector off with burnt toast or something else, the app allows you to silence the alarm without having to jump up and physically hitting its reset button.
The Roost battery can be preordered now, with availability expected for September. It’s priced at US$35 for one and $65 for two, with replacement battery components going for $15 each.