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Kidde RemoteLync Will Make Your Smoke Detector Smart

LAS VEGAS — What happens if your smoke detector goes off and you're not at home? Kidde, the company best known for its smoke and CO2 detectors, announced the RemoteLync, a device that will alert you any time a smoke detector in your house goes off.

Unlike the Nest Protect, which is in and of itself a connected smoke and CO2 detector, the RemoteLync, which plugs into any outlet, merely listens for your already-installed smoke detectors. When they go off, the RemoteLync, which is connected via Wi-Fi to the Internet, can send an alert to your phone via text, SMS or a push notification. From there, users have the option of calling 911 or a designated contact. Or, if you're sure it's just a false alarm, you can choose to ignore it.

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Available for $100 in mid to late February at Home Depot, the RemoteLync costs the same as the Nest Protect, which is a more fully-featured product and can connect to smart home networks such as the Wink platform. However, RemoteLync could appeal to consumers who don't wish to replace multiple smoke and CO2 detectors in their homes.

Kidde says that RemoteLync, which is programmed to respond only to the tones created by UL-rated smoke and CO2 alarms, is sensitive enough so that one unit should be able to hear all the detectors in your house. That means you'd only need to purchase one RemoteLync to cover your entire home. However, users can connect multiple RemoteLyncs to a single account, so you can monitor several different locations simultaneously.

The field of smart home devices keeps expanding each day, so it's interesting to see a device that bridges the gap between traditional, non-connected home appliances and the Internet. However, will consumers opt for this intermediate solution, or simply take the plunge with a fully-connected smoke detector?