Fund this: Sensibo makes any air conditioner smart

The Indiegogo project is already funded, but don't let that stop you from backing this convenient, money-saving gizmo.

Rick Broida Senior Editor
Rick Broida is the author of numerous books and thousands of reviews, features and blog posts. He writes CNET's popular Cheapskate blog and co-hosts Protocol 1: A Travelers Podcast (about the TV show Travelers). He lives in Michigan, where he previously owned two escape rooms (chronicled in the ebook "I Was a Middle-Aged Zombie").
Rick Broida
2 min read

Do you have a remote-controlled air conditioner? Here's your chance to make it smart.

Maybe not Nest-smart, but Indiegogo project Sensibo adds considerable intelligence to your home A/C. The developers of this app-operated sensor/controller are seeking $70,000 in funding -- and as of this writing have already landed more than double that amount.


I can see why. The Sensibo adds some decidedly advanced features to free-standing, split, window-mounted, and even central air-conditioners -- anything that's already controlled by remote.

Once installed, it gives you the enviable capability of setting the A/C from afar. Heading home from a long trip? Fire up the unit so the house is nice and cool when you walk in. Likewise, if you forgot to turn it off before leaving, just tap the app so you're not wasting energy while you're gone.

Along with humidity and light sensors, the Sensibo employs an iBeacon presence sensor, meaning it can automatically shut down the A/C when you're not in the room. According to the developers, features like these can help you trim your electricity bill by up to 40 percent.

The IR receiver lets you continue to use your existing remote, but also employs six IR emitters to send signals to the A/C. Consequently, it's more or less a stick-and-play device: no wires to mess with, and no mounting hardware other than a 3M Command sticky disc.

If you want to learn more, or just enjoy a few good chuckles, watch the promo video.

Backing options start at $99 (which is roughly £58/AU$106, plus another $20 US for shipping anywhere outside of the US or Israel), a price that includes the Sensibo hub (which connects to your router) and a single "pod" for your A/C. Additional pods are available at $69 each, or just pay $169 for a two-pod kit. That's definitely a good deal for early backers, as the $99 kit will sell for $159 once it goes into production. Shipping is slated for January 2015.

What do you think? Is this a product worth backing?