Low-cost Clime sensors bring home automation to the masses

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Vorm Lab

Krakow, Poland-based duo Bart Zimny and Andrzej Pawlikowski are developing mini battery-powered sensors called Clime. These gizmos are supposed to be able to measure things like temperature, humidity, light, motion, CO2, pressure, and color. And setup appears to be as simple as sticking a Clime sensor to a surface and letting it communicate all of its handy environmental readings to the related app via Bluetooth 4.0.

Here's their vision: Leave a sensor outside and let it adjust your thermostat when it detects temperature changes. Add a motion-sensing Clime to your washing machine and receive an alert on your phone when the cleaning cycle is complete. Let a Clime sensor keep track of ambient light and trigger your fixtures to turn on when it gets dark outside. Each sensor should last for up to 1.5 years before needing a new battery.

The team clearly has big plans for Clime -- including third-party integrations and IFTTT compatibility -- but they aren't quite there yet.

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Vorm Lab

Right now, you can register for updates on this self-funded project, including the availability of Clime sensors for preorder. Zimny and Pawlikowski focused on affordable home automation with Clime and expect to start shipping their sensors in October 2014 to the US ($15), the UK (£12), and Europe (€15).

That's a great price, but I'm fairly certain that scattering several of these small sensors around my house would end badly. I'm a little foggy on how these devices stick to things and how well they stay in place. At least at $15 a pop, I wouldn't feel too bad if my dog eats one -- or several.

Clime sensors remind me of Dropcam's $29 Tabs sensors designed to measure both movement and motion -- just with more potential applications. They also offer a lot of the extra features that come with Piper -- a $199 all-in-one security system that monitors both environmental and security triggers. But it's probably most similar to the $180 Netatmo Weather Station, an IFTTT-compatible product that can track everything from humidity to ambient noise. I've asked for a Clime sensor to review, so stay tuned to see if it can deliver a Netatmo level of information at a fraction of the price.

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Where to Buy

Vorm Lab Clime

Part Number: CNETVorm Lab Clime

MSRP: $15.00

See manufacturer website for availability.