A new startup called Palo Alto Innovations is making its debut at CES, and its signature product,which follows its popular alarm clock brand Sandman, is a white, round puck called the Node-ify Axon that comes packed with a bunch of sensors and a weirdly random bunch of applications.
The device is billed as the first universal home sensor and comes equipped with an accelerometer, a gyroscope, a temperature sensor, humidity sensor, leak detector, light sensor, and a microphone and speaker. It can also be fitted with an additional sensor that detects weight, and the company says it will also work with “infinitely expandable sensor add-ons.” It’s battery-powered and uses Bluetooth to communicate with a mobile app on any iOS or Android device.
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“One of our goals at Palo Alto Innovation is to create products that will increase the value and usability of everyday objects around your home,” said Alex Tramiel, co-founder and CEO of Palo Alto Innovation, in a press release. “We’ve noticed an influx of normal household items that have become enhanced with smart features, but are always accompanied with an expensive price tag. We created the Node-ify Axon to take normal household items and make them smart at a much more affordable price.”
To play devil’s advocate, it does look like the only limits to the Node-ify Axon’s applications are pretty much the imagination of the user ,but the examples cited by Node-ify are a bit … odd. You can place Axon in the refrigerator to alert you if the temperature gets too warm, or near a gate, window, or door to notify you if they are opened. OK, pretty standard smart home functions here.
But you can also, according to Node-ify, place an Axon under a toothbrush holder to make sure your kid really brushed his or her teeth. Or place Axon under the dog bowl to let you know how much your beloved pet ate today. It can also detect leaks near sinks, wash machines, or other appliances. Power users can also integrate Axon with other smart home devices using the IFTTT (If This, Then That) rules protocol.
While details are kind of sketchy at this point, it’s been reported that the team at Node-ify says the sensors will cost just under $40, with cloud service available for $5 for the first sensor and $1 per month for additional sensors.
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