Listen up, Halo's smoke alarms want to tell you what's wrong

Exclusive to Lowe's and compatible with the Iris system, the Halo detector monitors the weather and issues voice alerts in case of fire or storm.

Andrew Gebhart Former senior producer
2 min read
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Halo Smart Labs

The Nest Protect isn't the only game in town anymore. At CES 2016, I got a chance to see the Halo Smoke Alarm, an upcoming smart smoke and Carbon Monoxide detector that'll work with the Lowe's Iris system. The most robust of the three models on display, the Halo+, monitors the weather, and talks to you in case of emergency.

All three models issue voice alerts, actually. The three new products from startup Halo Smart Labs supposedly can tell the difference between fast and slow moving fires, with six different sensors packed in to help reduce false alarms. The only real difference with the Halo+ is it's weather monitoring.

You'll pay an extra $30 for that weather monitoring. Given that smart phones not only receives push notifications, but also weather alerts, I'm not sure how much usefulness the extra feature of the Halo+ alarm will add. I suppose not everyone keeps their phone on all the time while at home, and the Halo+ could be quite useful in that circumstance.

The Halo+ costs $130. The Halo battery powered smoke alarm and the Halo hardwired each cost $100. The Halo+ is hardwired. The battery version supposedly lasts 10 years, which helps it meet the safety requirements of states with stricter standards. First Alert's new HomeKit-enabled detectors also meet this requirement.

The voice alerts of all three could also be helpful. The Nest Protect -- the smart smoke alarm from the Google owned maker of the Nest Learning Thermostat -- also talks to you and lets you know where the emergency is happening. Thanks to the Lowe's Iris system, the Halo will aim to take that one step further, and let you know of a broader range of emergencies. A representative from Lowe's was excited to work on integrations with flood sensors, security monitors, and the like so that your smoke detector will let you know when anything in your smart home is amiss.

The high-tech home security gadgets of CES 2016 (pictures)

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Lots of those integrations are still in process, and the detector itself is still seeking UL certification. Once it's ready this spring, if you're the type that wants a smart home but doesn't want to keep your smartphone on you at all times, the voice alerts of Halo's detectors could come in handy.

For more coverage from CES 2016, click here.