Assuming you don't live in a home filled with butlers and personal assistants, the idea of losing all your possessions simply because you didn't know your smoke alarm triggered while you were away seems ridiculous in this age of smartphones and Internet-connected devices. Hoping to help the notion of an "Internet of things" come to fruition, a Brooklyn-based developer team has come up with a possible solution to this problem, and they call it Canary.
The Canary is a kind of smart smoke detector that can alert you remotely if a fire has started in your home. In addition to its smoke detecting functions, the device can also detect the presence of carbon monoxide, essentially combining two alert systems in one. Canary also has the ability to detect common allergy irritants such as dust, mold, and pollen.
At present, the Arduino-based device is still just a prototype, but the team hopes to launch the detector and its associated app commercially in the near future. If commercialized, the system would also include a call-in feature that would allow users to call their Canary to get an air quality reading of their home or New York City neighborhood in English, Russian, Spanish, Afrikaans, and Mandarin.
The team behind the prototype device came together as a result of a New York City competition designed to foster a better quality of life in the city. You can check out the team's presentation and get a peek at how Canary works in the video below.