Hello all, I just wanted to share my experience with a new product called Roost that I was really excited about. Roost is a device that looks like a 9V battery that you plug into your smoke alarm, it listens for smoke alarms and triggers push notification or IFTTT actions if it detects an alarm. Unfortunately we all know what happens when we get excited in the IOT world, we get disappointing.
TLDR version : Would not recommend at all. Pain in the butt to configure, physical design flaws, and it just didn’t work with my smoke alarms at all.
Unboxing was pleasant, good presentation.
Setup uses your phone’s speaker to transmit wifi configuration, there’s probably some name for this but I don’t really care to learn the name. My Amazon Dash button uses this and it usually works after about 3 attempts. The Roost however took hours, I’m no stranger to the technology as the Amazon Dash uses it but I must have tried 20 times until it finally was able to get my wifi credentials and connect to the Roost cloud.
The Roost pops into your smoke detectors 9V battery slot, my particular Kidde smoke detector has a clip at the bottom of the pop out bay that wreaked havoc with what is in my opinion a design flaw with the Roost battery. The bottom of the Roost unit is removable, I think it’s to replace the battery, but it’s extremely easy to pop it off, which turns off the unit, my battery slot’s clip seemed to have been designed to pop this thing off, so it was a battle getting it into the slot without the bottom of the unit popping off.
So all of those struggles behind me a began testing the unit just as the instructions say. Hold down the test button for 5 seconds to test the alarm, I scared the life out of my animals and toddler with the amount of times I tried to test the unit and only twice out of the 10 tests did I actually get a push notification, and the worst part about those two notifications is that they came in 25 minuets after the alarm had sounded.
Throughout all of these failure I had been in contact with Roost Tech Support. Although theses folks were nice they were very slow to respond and always gave me the impression that they assumed I didn’t know what I was doing. At the end of our communication they wanted me to send in my smoke alarm and unit to research and they would send me a replacement, which sounds like a good proactive approach but my patience had run out, I returned the unit.
Next up I intend to try the Kidde Remote Lync as it now supports IFTTT.