Brio is showing off some smart home technology that could save lives. The smart outlet is able to tell the difference between gadgets being plugged into the wall and curious toddlers probing it with wires, paperclips and other objects.
An estimated 100 children per year are electrocuted by home outlets per year in the United States and many more are injured. There are a number of safety outlets already on the market, but curious children can defeat them. The Brio outlet is the first to use advanced circuitry to tell if the objects plugged into it are indeed drawing current and attached to a working electronic device.
The initial run of Brio outlets was available as part of a Kickstarter campaign that asked for $39 per outlet. The company is now pre-selling Brio outlets for $49 a pop for May 2015 delivery. That’s a pretty steep price compared to regular outlets found at hardware stores and may be cost prohibitive for many families since a dozen or two of these units would be necessary to child-proof an entire house with these outlets.
Brio plans on introducing more smart home gadgets in the near future, including moisture sensors, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. The devices will link up to the Brio app and warn homeowners of any dangers.
While the Brio outlet is novel, there’s no shortage of smart smoke detectors and water sensors already on the market and Brio may have trouble making a case as to why its worth having yet another home-automation app on your smartphone if you’re already married to an ecosystem such as Nest or Wink.
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