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Smart Home

False alarms be gone -- Bosch's smart smoke detector hopes to reduce annoyances

An air quality sensor comes packed into the company's new smart smoke detector.

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Bosch is refining the sense of smell on its Twinguard smoke detector with the goal of reducing false alarms. The Twinguard not only includes photoelectric smoke detectors, but senses air quality to help determine when there's a real emergency.

When the alarm sounds, the Bosch Twinguard will send you a push notification on your phone, and it can trigger other smart devices in the Bosch Smart Home system. You could have your Philips lights blink when the smoke alarm sounds, for example.

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Outside of emergency situations, the Twinguard monitors temperature, humidity and general air quality by detecting volatile organic compounds (VOCs), so it stands to be the most knowledgeable smoke detector on the market. The Nest Protect similarly offers app-enabled smarts, and both the Nest and Bosch detector distinguish between different types of smoke to help make an informed decision about when to sound the alarm. The Nest Protect, however, doesn't monitor VOCs.

Bosch's Twinguard is one of three new smart home products Bosch introduced today at the IFA trade show here in Berlin. The company best known for its dishwashers is clearly making a concerted push into the fully connected home. When Bosch first announced the Bosch Home Connect app, the goal was to encompass everything. Now, with a wider variety of devices, we're starting to see that plan come to fruition.

My main concern for the smoke detector is implementation. The First Alert OneLink Smoke Detector showed what can go wrong when a company throws half-baked smarts onto a safety product. The Bosch Twinguard looks to be taking a simple approach, with the app serving as a monitor and a notifier. I'll be keen to test its responsiveness once it launches in the US.

The Twinguard will debut in parts of Europe at the beginning of 2017, though a representative promised me it would make its way to the US at some point in the future. Expect more details on when it'll come to the US at CES. The recommended price in Europe is €150, which converts to roughly $165, AU$225 or £13o.

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