Roost, the retrofit Wi-Fi powered battery that makes dumb smoke alarms smart, just announced retail availability of their Roost smart battery. The battery will be available through brick and mortar retail at Home Depot as well as through HomeDepot.com and Amazon.com
I've written about Roost before, in part because I am a fan of the retrofit smart home movement, where companies enable existing devices to become smart rather than requiring a replacement. This is particularly important for products with large installed bases and long life cycles (like.... smoke alarms), so that consumers don't have to forklift upgrade these products. That'd be wasteful and expensive, wouldn't it?
As a battery, the Roost is priced as premium product - $34.99 per battery or $64.99 for a two pack - but consumers shouldn't think of them as batteries. What they are are smoke alarm upgrades that will make their existing devices they already have on their ceiling smart.
In that context, the Roost is pretty affordable.
When I followed up with Roost, they told me that they will be available through 200 Home Depot stores across the country. A good start but not a complete rollout. I imagine if the initial reception goes well, Roost will grow both within Home Depot's footprint as well as through other retailers.
I look forward to see how we could possibly use this technology - that is, Wi-Fi powered batteries with low-power consumption technology that enables them to last for a few years - in other products. The Roost folks have kept pretty mum on extending beyond the smoke alarm, but they've hinted that they might at some point. This is technology that could be really interesting in other devices.
** Press Release Below **
Roost® 9V Smart Battery for Smoke and CO Alarms Now Shipping
Available Today at Amazon.com, GetRoost.com and at Select Major Retail
Sunnyvale, CA – November 11, 2015 –Roost, an innovator in smart home technology, today announced the retail launch and availability of the unique Roost Smart Battery, which transforms existing smoke and CO alarms into smart alarms. The Roost Smart battery is available today for purchase at HomeDepot.com, Amazon.com and GetRoost.com for $34.99 for a One-Pack and $64.99 for a Two-Pack. In addition, the Roost Smart Battery will be available at select Home Depot retail store locations across the U.S. starting this week.
The Roost Smart Battery addresses the frightening realities of fire damage and loss by helping improve the safety of your family and home in a simple, yet affordable way. Via its familiar 9V form factor, free mobile app and advanced Wi-Fi technology, the Roost Smart Battery leverages your existing smoke alarms through a simple retrofit. The Roost Smart Battery transforms existing smoke and CO alarms into smart alarms. Easy to install in less than five minutes, the Roost Smart Battery sends you notifications on your smartphone whenever your smoke alarm sounds, even while you are away. With five years of battery life, and advance warning, it also eliminates those annoying 3:00 a.m. low battery chirps!
In addition to its core functionality, the Roost Smart Battery offers a convenient snooze feature -- when you burn the morning toast, Roost lets you snooze battery-powered alarms for a few minutes. The Roost Smart Battery also features "Home Circle Monitoring," enabling trusted friends and family to receive notifications by inviting them to download the Roost app. This helps to provide further peace of mind, even when you're away on business or vacation.
The Roost Smart Battery was just selected as a "CES 2016 Innovation Awards Honoree" in the Smart Home product category. The CES Innovation Award is an annual competition honoring outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products. In addition, Time Inc.’s This Old House has named the Roost Smart Battery to its "2015 This Old House Top 100," a list of the 100 best new home products of the year. Each year, This Old House editors spend months scouting, testing, and culling countless new products for the home to identify the most distinctive, useful, and innovative.
“We are thrilled to announce volume shipments and immediate availability of the Roost Smart Battery. This is the culmination of a tremendous amount of design, research and engineering work on behalf of the entire Roost team,” said Roel Peeters, Roost CEO and co-founder. “Not only do we solve a real world problem, but we are able to do so at a price point that makes the Roost Smart Battery one of the most affordable smart home products on the market today – truly viable for broad mass market adoption.”