Ca­nary puts a quick end to false alarms

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - HOMES - By Re­becca Mel­nyk

NEXT time your din­ner burns and you quickly wave smoke out the win­dow in a rush to de­feat the beep­ing smoke alarm, you might be able to han­dle the prob­lem more ef­fi­ciently.

A pro­to­type for a new smart de­vice called the Ca­nary was de­vel­oped as a smarter smoke alarm, so peo­ple can shut the alarm off through a con­nected web app on their phone. The mul­ti­lin­gual de­vice even sends out alert­ing chirps if an emer­gency oc­curs when some­one isn’t home as well as up­dates on is­sues like bat­tery life.

Yet even more im­pres­sive is that the in­con­spic­u­ous Ca­nary — which can be mounted on a wall — was cre­ated to im­prove the lives of peo­ple who live in en­vi­ron­ments with poor air qual­ity — big cities for in­stance. It mon­i­tors the air qual­ity in their homes or of­fices, in­clud­ing carbon monox­ide and ni­tro­gen diox­ide lev­els, show­ing ex­po­sure over time to help pro­tect those who are most vul­ner­a­ble, in­clud­ing chil­dren and the el­derly. It also mon­i­tors ir­ri­tat­ing par­tic­u­late mat­ter such as pollen, dust and mould.

Mark Belin­sky, the lead de­vel­oper, cre­ated the Ca­nary be­cause he was sick of breath­ing in the pol­lu­tion of New York City. Al­though the Ca­nary is not yet on the mar­ket, the web­site men­tions that the app is ex­pected to be avail­able soon for use on iPhones, An­droids and Black­ber­ries.

Belinksy en­vi­sions that one day the de­vice will be placed all over cities to start mon­i­tor­ing how air is im­pact­ing lives.

“This is just one de­vice and we would love for de­vel­op­ers to ac­cess it and build off of our tool to cre­ate new in­no­va­tions,” he says in a promotional video.

The Ca­nary de­vice pro­vides in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing air qual­ity and

sends out alerts about a fire or ex­po­sure to carbon monox­ide,

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