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Who Says an Old Smoke Alarm Can't Learn New Tricks? Roost Uses OrCAD to Bring IoT to Your Existing Smoke Detectors.



Have you experienced the frustration of trying to figure out what is making that chirping sound only to realize it is one of your smoke alarm letting you know the battery is dying?


Why does that always have to happen at 3AM on a Saturday it seems?


Why does that have to happen at all?


Enter Roost. Roost is a startup that has developed an internet enabled battery that can fit in existing smoke alarms to alert you via your phone or internet connected device about the battery getting low well before you get to the chirping phase (and at a reasonable time of day as well).


While this is a nice feature and would certainly help avoid those 3AM wake up calls, this also performs a critical safety function for homeowners.


According to a 2015 National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) study:

  • 61% of respondents who reported having smoke alarms said their alarms were powered by batteries only
  • One of every five (21%) deaths was caused by fires in properties in which smoke alarms were present but failed to operate
  • 85% of the smoke alarm failures were due to a missing / disconnected battery or the battery was dead
  • The risk of dying in reported home structure fires is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms


Smoke alarms are intended to do just that. Sound an alarm when there is a fire. If the battery is dead or non-functioning, that doesn’t happen and people can get hurt or worse.


By providing an internet connected solution, homeowners can be better informed of the status of their smoke alarms and even know of issues when they may not be home (Roost includes a feature that can allow you to alert your neighbors if you are away).


This is important technology that adds convenience but also keeps people safe. Roost needed a solution that was going to work under all conditions and could retrofit into existing smoke alarm 9V battery slots.


Naturally they chose OrCAD to help them solve their design and space challenges to get their product to market on time and on budget.


According to James Machiorletti, Hardware Architect at Roost:


"These [OrCAD solutions] translate into real time-to-market advantages and will result in real operating cost improvements, providing our customers with the best products sooner."



Read the full story here.