Bring This Smart Battery Home to Roost

The coolest bits of technology can often come from someone looking at the same problem everyone else has but seeing a new and better way to fix it. Every been awakened at 3 AM to the dreadful CHIRP! from a smoke alarm? Ever heard the chirping and then had to wander around the house trying to figure out which detector it is that is making the infernal racket? What if you were away at work or on vacation and your house caught fire…wouldn’t you like to know about it before you came home to find the smoldering ruins of Pompeii where your home theater used to be? These are all problems solved in a brilliantly simple manner by Roost.

According to building code, you need a smoke detector inside and outside every room in the home. (A room is considered any space that has a closet, by the way.) In most homes this is somewhere around 6-8 detectors, all powered by dumb 9-volt batteries that will eventually fail – usually at three in the morning due to some mysterious law of nature – and will chirp incessantly until you a) put in a new battery or b) rip the thing off the wall, leaving your family unprotected against smoke.

Roost’s patent-pending answer is to embed a Wi-Fi radio inside the form factor of a typical 9-volt battery. This smart battery then connects to the Internet and can be controlled by iOS or Android app sending you low battery notifications before any chirping goes off and telling you exactly which detector needs a change. Further, if there is an alarm, the app can alert you or a list of emergency contacts about it, letting you respond with (hopefully) enough time to save your home.

Roost is compatible with any smoke or carbon monoxide detectors that use traditional 9-volt batteries and lasts up to 5 years. They are sold in packs of one ($40), two ($65) and four ($120) but there is a CES pre-order special that will save you 15% off if you use the code CES2015 at check-out. The batteries are slated to begin shipping in June.