Knut internet-connected sensor keeps you in the know via email
By C.C. Weiss
May 26, 2012
Our lives are very connected these days. You can check in on friends and family, your car and your home within seconds by typing a few words and pushing a few buttons. Despite this, there are still many pieces that remain cut off from our networks by physical space. The Knut sensor hub aims to connect a few more of those pieces.
Much like the Twine device that we saw last November, and the more recent Electric Imp, the Knut is a small sensor-equipped module that enables you to remotely monitor equipment and spaces in your home. The Knut comes equipped with a temperature sensor so that you can monitor the temperature of your wine refrigerator, humidor, basement, etc. It connects to the internet via Wi-Fi and can send out alerts and information to its owner by way of email and text message.
Users set up and control Knut through an accompanying "Knut Interface" app or computer program. Through the software, they can program alerts, monitor data and change settings. The user controls settings as to how Knut collects and transmits information. For instance, you can set the acceptable sensor ranges and program Knut to provide alerts when settings drift outside those ranges. You can also integrate several Knut sensors into one account, expanding your capability to monitor various things around the home.
As well as the temperature sensor there's a battery level sensor built in, along with a three-port hub whereby you can add external sensors based upon what you'd like to monitor, such as humidity and movement detection.
Knut designers Richard Pasek and Jay Gondelman met when Pasek's aquarium construction and maintenance company began taking care of the aquarium at Gondelman's office. The two set to work on a large aquarium project, and developed a sensor-based control system for settings like water level and temperature. They soon realized that such a system had value outside of the aquarium niche and began development of the Knut. They've been working on the device for three years and are currently attempting to refine the Knut Interface software and raise money on Kickstarter to hire computer programmers and other professionals to complete the project.
Devices like the Knut and Twine are kind of cool, but they seem like a bridge to a future where devices of all kinds will come with integrated sensor monitoring. When the "Internet of Things" evolves you'll never have to worry about leaving the coffee machine on or your refrigerator losing power, making all your food inedible, because you could check in via smartphone - there's a lot of potential there.