One benefit of a connected home is that it should (asuming the system is working) let you know when there’s a problem, even if you’re not there. It’s one reason those with vacation homes are installing smart leak detectors, Wi-Fi-enabled cameras, and so on. And just because your second home is on wheels, it doesn’t mean having devices that keep an eye on things is any less helpful. At least, that’s what Seattle marketing executive Chris Pendl thinks about his Airstream trailer.
Serving as a sort of home away from home, the 400-square-foot trailer is packed with products from Wink. Once owned by Quirky — the now-bankrupt company that helped amateur inventors bring their creations to market — Wink was acquired by Flextronics last year. It makes smart home hubs and other devices that help monitor homes.
Concerned about potential leaks, propane levels, and security in general, he put in a bunch of smart gear. In Pendl’s Airstream, there’s a Wink Relay touchscreen controller, two Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, two Spotters (motion, sound, light, temperature, and humidity sensors), a Refuel propane tank gauge, a water leak sensor, and GE Link and Philips Hue smart light bulbs.
Smart homes become pretty dumb if nothing can connect to Wi-Fi. To make it all work, he has to use air cards, so he can get Internet access over a cellular network.
The truth is that if he wants to monitor his trailer, Pendl has to do it himself, he realized after calling security companies who didn’t want the liability of a moving vehicle. “No one does it, because of liabilities about location and police access” during an emergency, he told Curbed. It might not be easy to find you if your current address is “the middle of the woods.”
Photos courtesy of Darren Hendrix.