Personal Roost Smart Battery Review


(Keith Croshaw) #1

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.

Detailed version:
Unboxing was pleasant, good presentation.

Setup:
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.

Physical Installation:
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.

Alarm Detection:
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.

Tech Support:
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.


ST Compatible Alarm detector like Roost or WeMo's new offering
(Bernie H) #2

Check out the Leeo Link

I have one and it works really well. Picks up CO2 and smoke alarms. Has a nice app, is quick to respond, can alert multiple people with text and calls. The call is nice it will playback the alert and give you emergency numbers if needed.

Only downside is no Ifttt yet but was it’s in the works.


(Keith Croshaw) #3

Yea without that IFTTT there’s no ST integration. I really want to do a couple things based on alarm detection. I looked at Leeo for a while. Kidde has it and they make my detectors so I’ll try that one next.


(jotto) #4

D-Link announced a similar product, Smart Alarm Detector. It also takes the approach of constantly listening for alarm sounds that smoke and CO detectors make. I know D-Link’s existing mydlink sensors have IFTTT integration so would hope this would too. Unfortunately it does not launch until Q2 2016.


(Cris D) #5

I have 2 Leeo’s and agree they are nice monitors to have.


(Keith Croshaw) #6

Yup that one and Wemo’s entry are in my mental list, Kidde Remote Lync seems to be the most non vaporware at the moment.


(Cris D) #7

Leeeo announced IFTTT compatibility today.