Remember that scene from Fight Club where the pilot light goes out on Ed Norton’s stove, his apartment fills up with gas for a couple weeks, and then his refrigerator clicks on and blows everything to high hell? Well if Tyler Durden had spent his money on this recently-launched gizmo on Kickstarter instead of a bunch of trendy Ikea furniture, that might never have happened.
Kepler, as it’s named, looks a lot like one of Nest’s iconic thermostats, but instead of regulating the temperature in your pad, it’s designed to monitor your house for dangerous gases. However, unlike most other gas detectors that are only designed for smoke or carbon monoxide, this one will also sound the alarm if it detects potentially explosive amounts of natural gas.
Once installed, Kepler monitors the air in your house and displays the gas levels (in parts per million) in big, bright numbers on its face. If the gas reaches a certain level, the numbers turn yellow, and Kepler issues an alert that tells you to turn the gas off and open the windows. In the event that the gas reaches a level that could cause an explosion, the device immediately flashes a red warning light and sounds a loud alarm, letting you know that it’s time to high-tail it out of there and call the gas company.
Additionally, as is the standard for just about every device bearing the “smart” moniker, Kepler also connects to your home Wi-Fi network, so it can beam these alerts to your smartphone no matter where you are in the world. This means that, even if you’re away from home and can’t hear the local alarms, you’ll still know of the danger ahead of time — there’s no risk of blowing yourself to bits when you return home from a long vacation.
To help finalize the prototype design and get Kepler ready for mass production, the creators have turned to Kickstarter to raise the necessary funds. The project has already met and exceeded its initial funding goal, so barring any unforeseen circumstances, the team expects to ship Kepler to backers as early as November. If you back the project now, you can lock one down for around $60 to $70. Find out more here.