Roost's smart home grows exponentially thanks to IFTTT

The 9-volt battery that retrofits your smoke detector with smarts will launch its own IFTTT channel later this month.

The Roost Smart Battery is going to connect with IFTTT services.

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Roost's retrofit 9-volt batteries just took a big step toward interoperability thanks to IFTTT. The Roost Smart Battery ($35, roughly converting to £25 in the UK or AU$50 in Australia) fits into your smoke detector, connects to your Wi-Fi and sends you a push notification if the alarm sounds or the battery is running low. It's a simple solution for retrofit smarts that we found worked pretty well when we reviewed it back in November. Announced today at CES 2016 and starting in late January, the battery will work as part of your larger smart home thanks to its own channel on online rule maker IFTTT.

Thanks to IFTTT, which stands for "If this then that," you'll be able use Roost's triggers to interact with any other compatible platform. Turn off the space heater you have plugged into your Belkin WeMo switch when the alarm sounds or have your Philips Hue lights flash red.

Roost promised to eliminate annoying chirps while providing remote notifications when it was first crowdfunded more than a year ago. The battery is meant to be a much simpler alternative to a wholesale replacement like the second generation of the Nest Protect. You put Roost into your existing detector, then you can receive notifications when it sounds as well as when the battery is running low. It will even let you silence the alarm in case it went off over something like burnt toast. When Roost's battery does run dry, you can swap in a replacement pack for $15.

The retrofit smarts of Roost and the wholesale replacement option of Nest are quite different in approach, but the primary function of both is the same: keep you informed from afar when your detector sounds. The $100 (£89 in the UK, price converting roughly to AU$140) Nest Protect still does more, but with creativity and IFTTT, the cheaper Roost battery is catching up.

Find more CES 2016 coverage here.

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