Roost battery and smoke detector
roost-price-pair

The Roost smart lithium battery – one of the most common sense ideas to emerge for the smart home!

The Roost battery  makes it easy to make your smoke, carbon monoxide, and other monitors or alarms smarter! The Roost is a 9v battery that connects to your home’s Wi-Fi network and can be managed from your smartphone. It’s compatible with your existing alarms, so you don’t have to invest in any more smart devices – just the battery!  BTW you won’t be throwing out the Roost, just swapping out it’s lithium battery pack, keeping all the smarts.  Nice.

And since it is simply a smart battery, your typical smoke alarm, will still do its usual thing, going off when it senses smoke.  That means that should your power be out, or your wifi down, you still have a functioning smoke, or CO2 or other sensor/alarm, working in its traditional old school fashion.

I will be doing a short review on the Roost, in the not too distant future.  That’s because I consider it a compelling product, a must have solution in a home automation world of lots of products that are great, but that we can live without.  I cannot live another year without installing these in our Dream Home project’s assorted sensors.  The reason why is the first one discussed below:  No more 3am chirps!

 

There are four major features to the Roost: Let’s start with convenience:  Roost’s battery alerts let you know when your sensor’s battery is low. We’ve all been there when your smoke alarm starts chirping in the middle of the night and you have to roll out of bed and try and figure out which sensor is the one that’s dying. Then, when you finally track it down, chances are you probably can’t turn the stupid thing off, and you end up burying it under some pillows in the closet… We’ve all been there. The Roost will save you the trouble of what they rightly call those “annoying 3AM chirps,” since you will be warned, and will replace your battery before it starts doing that.

Awesome!

Second, Roost offers notifications! Because it connects to your smartphone via Wi-Fi, the battery pushes any necessary alerts straight to your mobile device. You’ll get notifications when your carbon monoxide, smoke alarm, etc. goes off, so that even if you’re not home, you’re alerted immediately.

Are you going out of town? You can actually set up family and neighbor alerts, designating someone besides yourself to respond to an emergency if you’re going to be out of reach. Now how valuable could that prove to be if there is a water leak detected or if your smoke detector goes off and you’re halfway around the world.  Someone nearby, perhaps a neighbor can handle it. There’s a real potential to avoid catastrophe.

Lastly, we love the snooze feature. The worst is when you know you’ve burnt your toast, the kitchen is filling with some smoke, and there’s nothing you can do to stop the inevitable wail of your smoke detector.  Gotta go find a step ladder, climb it, press the button… Now, you can snooze the false alarm right from your phone.

The battery and app combo boasts other great features like easy set-up (download the app, connect to Wi-Fi, and pop in the battery in less than 5 minutes) and an activity history that will let you review past times alarms were sounded or tested. Plus, as hinted at above, the Roost has a replaceable lithium battery pack, so you get a 5-year battery life and avoid maintenance concerns.

Roost is available on their website (check it out for videos, app download links, and a user guide), Amazon.com (Prime shipping eligible!), Home Depot, and most of the other usual suspects.

Remember, Roost isn’t just for smoke alarms, etc.  It can be useful for many devices that run on a 9 volt battery, even, if it makes sense, some remote controls.  For example

Perhaps the Roost battery isn’t the sexiest thing ever invented. Still it is such an obviously good concept that makes sense, that it was definitely one of the most talked about home automation products at CES 2016.  It seems to be the kind of product that has everyone thinking:  Why didn’t I think of that!  I’m looking forward to bringing in 2-4 of these, to review them and put them to work.


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