Where’s the Money in Home Sensors? (comparison chart)
Sensors are cheap and plentiful, relatively easy to get hooked to an Arduino and provide interesting data to stream, log, graph and alert with. It’s not hard to imagine a world where sensors fill the home and (to quote Alex Hawkinson of SmartThings) provide “monitoring, automation, control and fun.”
Many companies have sprung up in the last year or two to make it easier for DIYer and ordinary consumers to deploy sensors in the home and provide useful alerts and automation. We put together a chart comparing many of these companies here. Included in the comparison are: Canary, Knut, NODE, Smart Citizen Kit, SmartThings, Twine, WigWag and Wimoto
So where’s the money at in home sensors? It’s hard to draw a strong conclusion by looking at these early entrants, but interesting to note that the two top-funded projects (SmartThings at $1.2m and Canary at $405K with 35 days to go*) both have the strongest emphasis on real-world end user scenarios and usability. The others are focused more on the hobbyist audience.
In terms of raw sensor capability, SmartThings is actually one of the weakest, however they’ve clearly made up for that by emphasizing easy of use, hackability and compatibility with existing home automation systems and other sensor devices.
What Canary lacks in hackability and compatibility, they make up for in industrial design, user experience and a focus on mainstream use cases.
WigWag is a strong #3 with $198,000 raised and 25 days to go, and puts their emphasis on having a strong multi-sensor device and flexible rules engine.
*we put Canary at #2 instead of Twine since they’ll most certainly pass Twine’s $556K by the end of their campaign.