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Smart Home

Leeo's new nightlight helps your family watch out for each other

This nightlight, launched at CES 2019, changes colors, senses motion, listens for smoke alarms and reassures you that everyone is OK.

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The app on the left gets info from the sensor-equipped nightlight on the right. 

Leeo

Designed with "mutuality" in mind, the Leeo Ping service is basically an app that lets you see the status of a selected group of family and friends while sharing your own. The main hardware piece of this service is the Leeo Smart Alert -- a color changing nightlight that senses motion, sound, temp, humidity and light. Leeo's debuting both the service and the nightlight at CES 2019 with the goal of rolling them out in the middle of this year.

Leeo's previous smart nightlight also changed colors and detected sound. Specifically, it listened for smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and sent push alerts if it heard something. The new Smart Alert will still keep an ear out for alarms, but it uses its other senses to keep an eye on the general wellbeing of the household.

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Leeo's new nightlight. 

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Leeo Ping looks to be primarily aimed at helping grown children keep an eye on their parents, while sharing their own info in return so the elderly don't feel the stigma of being watched. The main page of the app shows the people you've added to your Ping network with colored circles indicating their status. A green circle around their face means they're OK. If anyone is yellow or red, you can tap to see why and you'll also get a push notification prompting you to check in.

Leeo Ping works with the Leeo Smart Alert, so if the temp or humidity drops or rises past a certain threshold, you'll get an alert. You can also get an alert if Leeo hasn't sensed motion for a while. The app's screenshots even show the service can monitor heart rate and steps taken, so I'd imagine it can integrate with other health sensors in addition to the Smart Alert.

Bear in mind that your relatives will be able to see your status too -- that's an important part of Leeo's pitch of being mutual by design. Leeo hasn't specified a price yet for either the Smart Alert or the Ping service. The Ping service will have a free tier, but some of the features will require a subscription fee. Hopefully, that means Leeo will offer some level of professional monitoring and automated calls to emergency services when necessary and not that they're locking basics like motion detection and sound alerts behind a paywall.

I was charmed by the original Leeo nightlight, but thought it was too expensive for what it did. This new version looks to bring the charm intact with a lot of helpful new features. If the price is reasonable, the Leeo Smart Alert could be worth considering, especially if you have elderly relatives who live alone.

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