Sen.se, the smart home company behind the slightly creepy hub called Mother, is back with a handful of tiny, single-purpose sensors meant to be scattered around your home. The line of devices are called SensePeanuts, and the first one being unveiled is the ThermoPeanut, meant to track temperature wherever you put it.
The ThermoPeanut is weirdly what it sounds like. It’s a peanut-shaped gadget that tracks temperature. It uses Bluetooth — so it doesn’t require a hub — to connect directly to iOS and Android devices. It’ll record temperature ratings as often as you program it to, and then report those readings back to an app. It can measure temperatures from -5 degrees Fahrenheit to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (or, for those of you with more sensible measurement systems, -20 degrees Celsius to 60 degrees Celsius).
It’s a really simple gadget, but Sen.se is hoping that owners can turn it into something much more useful. It can be pared with Nest Thermostats to control when the heat or air conditioning goes on. Or it can hook up to IFTTT — a service that lets apps and gadgets trigger actions in other apps and gadgets — to do an assortment of useful and strange things.
The ThermoPeanut goes on sale today for $29. Later this year, Sen.se will add a sensor called the SleepPeanut, which will probably look like a peanut and measure an individual’s sleep patterns, another called the PeanutButton, which is basically just a dedicated IFTTT button that you can assign three different actions to, and finally the MedPeanut, which is meant to let caretakers monitor pill dispensers to make sure medication is being taken.
Additional Peanut units will come next year. Sen.se is currently planning ones called the SafePeanut, which has something to do with security; the ProximityPeanut, which sounds like a Tile; the HydraPeanut, basically a leak detector; and the DoorPeanut, to tell if a door is open or closed.
Most of these aren’t particularly innovative. But Sen.se’s idea of making a line of products that all look cute and similar and work in simple ways should make these devices among the easier methods of stepping into smart home monitoring. And in a market that’s crowded with confusing white boxes that may or may not work with your existing gadgets, that’s not a bad idea at all.