Instrumenting your house

I recently bought a bunch of wireless sensor tags from a guy in California. The little sensors communicate movement and temperature back to a ‘tag manager’ that you plug into your router. There’s then a cute little web/IOS/android app that allows you to configure them and also receive notifications when they get too hot or are moved.

My main reason for doing this is that we keep temperature-sensitive medication in the fridge at home and the paranoia in me wanted some way of knowing if the fridge door has been left open, or that the compressor has failed.



Whilst pretty straightforward to get going, I’ve found configuring them to be a steep learning curve: the UI has an amazing array of configurable options (which is a good thing) but due to the shear number of them and the inherent delay of seeing updates it can be a bit confusing to see the results of your fiddling. I was also thrown by the fact the temperature sensor in the tags needed calibrating first. The power state of the tags also seems to vary wildly, perhaps that’s related to the cold of the fridge, which makes it difficult to know how long the battery is going to last.

I’m still not yet at the level where I completely trust the tags to alert me when something bad has happened but I don’t think it’ll be too long until that’s the case, but if you’re looking for a neat little solution that tells you where things are, or how hot something is, I think these are definitely worth a punt.