Canary: Smart Smoke Detector

Created by Mark Belinsky.

I'm a Developer in New York, NY. I work at The Toolbox. I earned a degree from Johns Hopkins University

Project Description

Canary is a smart smoke detector and air monitor.

PHYSICAL DEVICE: Can be installed on the wall in place of your regular smoke detector. It monitors fire, carbon monoxide and tracks the air quality of your home.

ALWAYS CONNECTED: We give you the unique the ability to receive phone calls and SMS if there's an emergency. It doesn't just beep at you if the battery is out or if there's a problem. It's a sophisticated and simple air quality alert tool that monitors .

YOUR SMARTPHONE MANAGES THE DEVICE: Have you ever gotten up in the middle of the night because your smoke detector was screeching? We're here to solve that. Alerts are sent right to your phone where you are explained the situation. Maybe the battery is low, or maybe it's an emergency. We let you know through the Canary webapp.

SMARTER CITY: Imagine renting an apartment or buying a home and knowing the air quality of the place first. We've developed a brand-new data set for New York City to let us do exactly that. It's available through a RESTful web API that is well-documented and publicly available. With devices all over the city, we'll be able to start monitoring how air is impacting our daily lives. And with an API, any developer can add to it. But we've also gathered open city data to track outdoor air quality. Thanks to data sets from AirNow, DEC, Health, and others for providing the data.

BEAUTIFUL DESIGN: Canary looks beautiful on a wall and connects you to the information you need to know. Whether it's your breathing air quality or alerts about a fire or exposure to carbon monoxide, Canary broadcasts chirps to give you the information you need, exactly when you need it.

GRANDMA FRIENDLY: The city is a diverse place. This work in English, Russian, Spanish, Afrikaans, and Mandarin, directly from a landline. Just dial 240-669-2679

BETTER HEALTH: It's estimated that 6% of deaths in the city are due to poor air quality. It's unacceptable.


Project Goals

  • Create a data set that can be used by New Yorkers to improve their quality of living and help them to breathe easy.

  • Correlate more accurate health information by integrating existing open data sets with our new set.

  • Save lives.

Project Updates

Winner at the Cleanweb Challenge

May 28, 2013

At the Cleanweb Developer Day the Smoke Connector team launched in its first public demonstration. The crowd (and judges) were kind, giving lots of constructive feedback as well as the 2nd place prize. Thanks to everyone for the support!

For more info, check out the blog post -

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lane watson

After Nest, I hoped that the smoke detector would be next. I also really like the idea of checking indoor air quality too. I have asthma. In addition to pollen I am very allergic to cats, but I am forced to live with 2 of them. High merv air filters, micro filtration air bags on the vacuum cleaner, and an advair disk as the final backup make this feasible, so it might be nice to be able monitor dander levels and perhaps even have the ability to set notifications for certain thresholds. Not sure how a system would distinguish this from ordinary dust or pollen, but I do know it consists of a certain protein found in cat saliva. After cats bath themselves the saliva dries then breaks off into tiny micro particles and goes airborne. Cat allergen is also one of the most potent allergens on the planet and many are susceptible. Perhaps an idea for a separate product...


Godslove Chinekwe

am a ux/visual designer can I assist on this project


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