A new crop of smart home devices on the way will smell the air to make sure it is healthy. The gas sensors are getting built into thermostats, baby monitors, digital night lights and security cameras.
Withings, a maker of consumer Internet of Things products, launched one of the first, using the AS-MLV-P2 sensor from AMS AG, an Austria-based vendor of sensors and related ICs. The Withings system (below) sells for about 200 euros and includes a 5 Mpixel video camera, dual microphones, temperature and humidity sensors and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Smart radios.
The home systems are essentially, consumer versions of sophisticated thermostats companies such as Honeywell, Siemens and others have been selling for some time. The commercial versions are used to detect air quality, mainly measuring carbon dioxide as a way to detect human presence and adjust HVAC systems to save electricity.“As we speak we have various design-ins going on with our sensor…at least a dozen companies are working with us on new deigns, and most of them will released in 6-12 months,” said Heiko Ulmer, a director of marketing for chemical sensors at AMS.
“I regard these new devices as low cost building automation systems,” Ulmer said. “We are established in building automation and automotive gas sensors, so nice to expand into consumer because there are potentially interesting volumes,” he said.
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