Automate your home on the cheap with Clime’s tiny, multi-purpose sensors

Do you need a bunch of tiny sensors all over your house to collect data? Probably not. But if you want some, an up-and-coming Polish startup by the name of Clime might be worth checking out. The company makes a line of tiny, multi-purpose sensors that are more affordable than any we’ve previously laid eyes on.

Now available for preorder through the company’s independent crowdfunding campaign, the sensors cost about 26 bucks a pop. That’s far more expensive than than the original $15 pricetag that Clime was shooting for when they were first announced in June, but still quite a bit cheaper than most other sensors you can currently get your hands on.

The sensors come in four different varieties. There’s a base model tag ($24) that only tracks temperature, as well three others ($26 each) that track humidity, light, and movement in addition to temp. All tags are network-connected and capable of sending alerts to your mobile device, and also come with a small adhesive patch on the back that allows them to be placed just about anywhere.

Being small in size and big in versatility seems to be what sets these sensors apart from others. Rather than designing a unique type of sensor for a specific application, Clime has taken a more open ended approach, allowing users to apply their sensors creatively, however they see fit. Take the temperature+humidity sensor, for example. This little thing has a plethora of potential applications. It could be used a s leak detector in the bathroom, a plant monitor that tells you when your flowers need water, or even be placed on your clothes line to send you an alert when your laundry is done drying.

Equally versatile, Clime’s temperature+light sensor could be used as a light-based alarm that sends you a notification when the sun rises, or even a security system that alerts you when a light comes on while you’re away from home. And the temp+motion sensor? It could be a baby monitor, door/window monitor, fridge alarm, and just about anything else. Since Clime sensors are designed to be placed practically anywhere, their potential uses are limited only by your imagination.

At this point, all data that the sensors collect is merely relayed to your phone to give you alerts when something changes, or provide simple visualizations of your home’s activity. But moving forward, creators Bart Zimny and Andrew Pawlikowski plan on creating actuators and other systems to work with the sensors, so users can do things like control HVAC systems and open/close windows automatically based on environmental changes.

The company plans to ship Clime sensors to customers in early 2015, but launching is only half the battle. Once on the market, Clime faces stiff competition from well-established home automation/monitoring systems like Staples Connect, Iris, and Smart Things — but the company might be able to edge out the competition with that 26 dollar price tag.

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