A new device called the Wallflower wants to help curb kitchen fires by sending you alerts if your stove is on when you're not home.
The $170 Wallflower, which goes on sale today, is a Wi-Fi-enabled plug that goes into your wall outlet. You plug your electric stove into the Wallflower and connect the device to your home's Wi-Fi network through the Wallflower app. (A version for gas stoves will launch next year.)
From there, you can set up preferences for when you want to receive alerts from the Wallflower. That includes smart reminders that will send you an alert after your oven has been on for a set amount of time. The biggest draw is that the Wallflower uses geofencing: Enter your home address in the app, and you'll receive an alert if you leave your home while the stove's on.
We've seen an emergence of Wi-Fi-enabled kitchen gadgets that take on safety rather than making cooking easier. There's the $495, which is made up of a power box that will automatically turn off your stove if its motion sensor detects that you've been away for too long. And the $300 consists of a smoke/gas/motion detector and Wi-Fi- and Bluetooth-enabled burner knobs that will shut off your burners if the sensor detects a hazard when you're not around.
The iGuardStove Intelligent and Inirv React are more expensive than the Wallflower, but they actually can turn your appliance off if there's an emergency. The Wallflower tells you that you've left the stove on, but it can't do anything about it. We'll test the Wallflower to see if alerts without action are enough to keep your home safe.