SmartDry’s useful laundry sensor will be put in the cloud next month

Zoom / The SmartDry laundry sensor has been widely seen as a useful smart home tool that saves money and time. When the servers of their owners go dark at the end of September, users are faced with a useless device or a notable DIY journey.

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Smart Dry It was a clever household product that did something useful: it told you when your clothes were already dry in the dryer.

The small package that fits inside almost any dryer drum can prevent clothes from shrinking, save you energy costs (at least $60 a year, marketing claimed), and even warn you about clogged vents that are causing heat — or worse, gas buildup. . The second generation version can automatically turn off the gas dryer. Reviewers largely preferred it over the unpredictable dryness sensors in their dryers.

The problem is that SmartDry alerts you to dry clothes by connecting to your home’s Wi-Fi network; The device sent a message to the servers of the parent company Connected Life and then transmitted that message to your smartphone. But Connected Life Labs is shutting down SmartDry and shutting down its servers on September 30th. After that, “cloud services will stop working and product applications will not be supported.”

In other words, SmartDry will become a little brick inside your dryer unless you’re willing to buy a small ESP32 development board, load some code on it, plug it in near your dryer, and Set up your alerts in your Home Assistant server. If you have a first generation SmartDry, this will actually be a small improvement, like those used Espressif chips ESP32 with double permanent.

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Cloud-locked smart home devices aren’t new, but the SmartDry was a particularly useful low-end device made by a company that doesn’t seem to be expanding very quickly. Originally connected life Prototyping units for a three-person team in New JerseyThe device remained made in the United States. One founder told Review in late 2021 that a version of the washing machine was in testing and expected to be released in the summer of 2022.

Lisa Goldstein, who is deaf, Books to review In December 2021 SmartDry saved her multiple trips to and from the basement, as she had no further indication that her clothes were ready. Wirecutter’s Rachel Sirricola wrote a blog post on how to use SmartDry “I changed how I do laundry.” Josh Hendrickson at ReviewGeek He wrote that SmartDry routinely teases him about dry clothes 10-15 minutes before the timer ends. “On almost every occasion, the sensor has been working properly,” he wrote.

The second generation SmartDry kit included a plug that could automatically turn off gas dryers.
Zoom / The second generation SmartDry kit included a plug that could automatically turn off gas dryers.

Connected life

Reliance on cloud servers is a recurring problem with smart home devices. Smart Home Company Insteon seemed to disappear without warning in April. Insteon later He blamed the pandemic and supply chain shortages. In June, a group of dedicated customers Insteon bought and revived its services. Most of the time, shutdowns are routine, like outages After the acquisitionor a large company Losing interest in the smart home experience.

projects like home assistantAnd the homerAnd the Hubitat It aims to provide locally managed reserves for these failed projects, but is often backed by volunteers who congregate in forums or warehouses, sniff out packages, and work with esoteric devices.

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The most powerful fix for failing companies could be Matter’s interoperability standard and the Thread network technology behind it, Scheduled to arrive sometime in fall 2022. Rather than relying on individual Wi-Fi connections, a smart device could stick to the network created by other nearby smart devices and would theoretically be more accessible to hubs and other apps.

We have tried reaching out to Connected Life Labs and will update this post if we receive a comment.

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