It can also tell if you’ve fallen and haven’t gotten up while nearby, so placing a pod in the bathroom or at the top and bottom of the stairs could catch most household falls. This could provide peace of mind and independence to people who might be concerned about that sort of thing, but who are understandably uncomfortable with the idea of their family or carer placing cameras in throughout their house.
Linksys also unveiled its Vehicle Presence Detection System (VPDS), which sounds like an overzealous alarm system until you remember the stories about sleep-deprived parents forgetting their quiet baby in the back of a hot car. The VPDS can do all the same tracking as the Wellness Pods, so it can send you an alert to remind you if someone is in the car after you turn off the ignition. Both products will be available in Australia in the second half of 2020.
Phyn is another cool innovation; essentially a water safety switch with additional insights. Makers of smart home gadgets have been obsessed with letting you know how much electricity every device you own uses, but there isn’t really anything that granular for water. Now that we’re in the grips of a decade-long drought and country towns are running out of water, Phyn is pretty timely.
Phyn Plus is the flagship model, which goes for $US699 ($1011) and needs to be installed by a plumber near the mains. It can tell you how much water the toilets, taps, shower and washing machine in your house uses, thanks to the differences in water pressure, and lets you know if there are any leaks in the system. It can also automatically shut off the water if it senses a big leak, so anyone who’s come home to an exploded dishwasher or burst pipe will love it.
The regular Phyn ($US299) is smaller and can be DIY installed in the US (but perhaps not under Australian regulations). It still tracks your water usage and lets you know if there are any leaks, but doesn’t have the safety shut-off.
Unfortunately there aren’t any solid Australian release plans for Phyn yet, but the company is in talks with various partners and is hoping to release it later this year.
The author travelled to Las Vegas as a guest of Lenovo.