The FireWire is a smart smoke detector. We made this project during the second module of the bachelor Creative Technology at the University of Twente. The focus of this module was on ‘Smart cities’ and ‘Ubiquitous computing’. The FireWire differentiates itself compared to other smoke detectors in a number of ways.
Firstly, it is able to detect different types of smoke and chemicals. This means it can also detect a gas leak for example. Sensors for this already exist for a cheap price and are widely implemented in modern smoke detectors. Secondly, you can assign the FireWire to a specific room. That means that the FireWire knows it’s being used in the kitchen, for example. This information, combined with maps of the house, can be used to determine the exact room and location of a danger. The FireWire can use this information to warn other smart smoke detectors in the area. For example, if you have a fire in your kitchen, and your kitchen is close to, or even attached to, your neighbors house as well, they will get a notification / alarm as well. The FireWire can also directly contact authorities. For example; if nobody is home and the alarm rings for more than 5 minutes, the FireWire will automatically call the authorities.
The FireWire can also monitor data over time. You can see the CO2 levels over the last few months for example. Or you can see the exact moments and reasons it went off. You can monitor this data in the web interface. This data, collected from multiple addresses over a period of time, can give new insights into different types of dangers specific for a certain neighborhood. What’s really surprising is that this sounds really advanced and smart, but it actually is very simple. We managed to do this with minimal programming skills (second module first year). This really shows that there are always new products to be designed, even considering our limitations at the time.