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Smart Home

Halo Smart Labs is folding and your smart smoke alarm will soon turn dumb

The makers of the weather-sensing Halo+ Smoke Alarm have gone out of business, so your $130 smoke detector might soon lose its connection to the internet.

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Chris Monroe/CNET

You won't find the Halo+ Smart Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Weather Alerts on store shelves anymore. Halo Smart Labs, the startup behind the $130 smoke detector, has gone out of business. The company announced the news in an email to its customers on Friday. The news will hit current customers the hardest, as Halo Smart Lab is also discontinuing cloud support for its smart detectors.

The company won't produce any more of its smoke alarms, and it will discontinue support for the app in the next couple of weeks. If you own a Halo+ Smoke Alarm, note that it will no longer have a direct internet connection once the app stops working. It should still be able to detect smoke and carbon monoxide and sound an alarm, but you won't get a push alert when it senses something wrong. It will also no longer be aware of the weather.

Both the SmartThings hub and the Iris by Lowe's hub will continue to support the Halo Alarm, so you can keep the smarts of your smart smoke detector as long as you connect it through one of those bridges. It just won't be able to connect to Wi-Fi on its own any longer. 

That might be cold comfort to current owners of the Halo+ Alarm if they don't already have one of those hubs. They'll now be faced with the decision of spending another $70 to $100 to keep their $130 smart detector running, or they'll simply lose the smarts that compelled them to pay $130 in the first place. The lesson here: buyer beware if you're purchasing a cloud-supported product from a startup. We've seen this happen with other smart home devices, such as the popular Revolv hub and the Edyn Garden Sensor.

Halo+ won me over with an unusual feature for a smoke detector: It would announce inclement weather in addition to alerting you to the usual smoke and carbon monoxide emergencies. I was surprised to find I liked the feature when I reviewed Halo+ last summer. It was fully customizable and particularly useful if you live in an area prone to inclement weather and you like to turn your phone off at night.

The reliable detector could also send you push alerts when it sensed something wrong, and it verbally announced weather, smoke or carbon monoxide alerts before sounding a traditional alarm. Its combination of features and the reasonable $130 price made it one of our favorite alternatives to the Nest Protect. Unfortunately, you now have one less viable option if you want to smarten up the safety of your home.

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