There's little doubt that our homes are getting smarter. We've got thermostats that can monitor our behavior and program themselves in response to our patterns, and lighting controls that can adjust our light levels and energy use in response to optimize our use of natural light. We can manage our systems remotely, tracking performance and setting alarms for unusual data feeds. Heck, we've even got software that not only will monitor whether or not your house is locked, but that also will unlock the front door when it knows you are coming up the front walk. But can your home be an active participant in monitoring your health?
Some tech gurus at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the ultimate gadget show in Las Vegas, say yes. Jordan Crook of Tech Crunch brings word of CubeSensors, that takes the concept of a Fitbit or Nike Fuelband--devices that monitor your health--and transfers it to your home. Crook writes:
"Simply place CubeSensors throughout your home, on in each room, and get a read on various factors that affect your health and well-being. Specifically, Cube Sensors are equipped with seven different sensors measuring air quality, temperature, humidity, noise, light, weather pressure, and accelerometer.
A CubeSensor can tell you when the temperature in your home is off, costing you money, or alert you that your office is too dark to be working without a light on as the sun starts to go down."
The little boxes are wireless and pretty sleek. The idea is this: install the sensors throughout a home. (They come in packs of 2, 4, and 6 sensors.) They will glow when the sensors register that something such as CO2 levels are amiss or even if a snoring partner is preventing you from getting a good night's sleep. In fact, it will even tell you if your dog is barking loudly when yo're not home, according to the company's website. Each box's glow indicates that homeowners should check in with the CubeSensors app to learn more about the problem and potential fixes. Take a look:
The relationship between human health and buildings, with a focus on attributes of indoor environmental quality, is nothing new to green builders. In fact, the USGBC recently released a draft statement of principles addressing how human health is intrinsically tied to green building. However, the CubeSensors take it a step further, making home automation systems an active participant in day-to-day wellbeing and spinning a more consumer-oriented angle to it all. At $300 to $600 for a pack of sensors and a base station, it's an intriguing prospect and seems it may play very well with smartphone aficionados. Could it be an add-on for homebuilders to offer to tech-savvy buyers?