SensePeanut provides a variety of sensors to enhance your smart home experience.

Our world is getting smaller.  It seems everything is becoming integrated, smart and always on.  While at CES 2017 PEPCOM, I was able to meet with SensePeanut, a company offering a variety of sensors.  The sensors are designed to enhance your life and to help you to remember activities.   The table at CES showed four small sensors.  Upon initial impression, I thought that these were medical food allergy sensors.  It is this reason that I approached the booth and talked with the team.   They detailed the actual reasons for the sensors.  The peanut wording is not meant to relate to food, but to the small shape.  There are a few offerings from the company: the sleep peanut is a smart wake up alarm clock, the guard peanut is an anti-theft motion detector that watches over the belongings and alerts you when they are moved, the thermopeanut is a smart wireless thermometer and the medpeanut (coming soon) attaches to a pill box/pill bottle to alert you to location and as a pill reminder.

I was given a sample of the guard peanut and the thermopeanut to review.  The med peanuts and sleep peanuts are not yet available for purchase and may be available in the next few months.  Each one of the peanut devices is color coded, green for guard and red for the thermometer.  The packaging details the utility of the products.  It recommends attaching the GuardPeanut to a device you wish to protect.  You can monitor what happens when you move away.  The device rings and plays an alarm on your phone if the device is moved.  The idea for this specific sensor is security.  The App is available on IOS 9+ and android 4.3+ with Bluetooth 4.0+.  It promises an operating range of 60 m/200 ft.  It is listed as nonwaterproof, nor suitable for children.  In the box, you can expect the sensor, a single CR2032 battery, with a reported 6-month lifespan, a sensor clip/attachment ring, adhesive tape and sticky putty.

SensePeanut REVIEW: Multiple Sensor Options

Opening the package, you will note a green peanut shaped sensor that measures roughly 1 inch wide by 2 inches tall by 1/2 inch thick.  The front is a lime green coloration and the back is white. Along one of the edges is a white pull tab to activate the battery. The included accessories were present as detailed.  The instruction manual is a 13-panel front and back packet, detailing the product.  Start with removing the tab and then push the small button depression on one side of the peanut. You will hear a short jingle.  Download the SensePeanut app from the IOS Appstore or from Google play store.  Once downloaded you will see a start icon, enter your first name, email and a password into the app and then log into the application.

You will need to authorize the phone to turn the smartphone alarm into the on position, allow it to send notifications, and allow access to the location (not saved on servers).  You will then need to “Add a Peanut.”  Select the add button, remove the battery tab from the sensor and then place the peanut next to your device.   The peanut immediately was located and my iPhone screen displayed Green GuardPeanut found.   Once paired, you can customize the sensor.  There will be a short update (about 1 minute)  and then you will hear a jingle on the peanut sensor.  While on the uploading screen, you will get a few tips.  You can press the GuardPeanut’s button for a few seconds to start or stop monitoring, you can change the ringing modes and you can connect them to all of your devices by logging into the same account.

To utilize the peanut, attach it to a surface of your choice (a bag, a stroller, and a stroller are demonstrated) and attach it using the included mounting hardware.  You can name the peanut sensor and select the color. I chose to name the device “Motion Sensor 1.”  You can then allow the device to turn the smartphone alarm into the on position and set the tone to discreet, loud or medium. I chose medium and then activated the device by long pressing the button.  Now if you move the device it will alert.  If you long press the button, it will turn off the alarm.  However, you will still get a push notification of an alarm onto the phone. To deactivate the alarm, you will need to press “stop” on the iPhone/Android phone.  At the bottom of the app, you will see the number of times the item was moved in a graphical format.  The app provides daily information, the daily number of moves and weekly trends.

SensePeanut REVIEW: Multiple Sensor Options

If you tap the three circles along the bottom right of the app, you can access additional options.  Choosing “customize this GuardPeanut” allows you to change the name, change the sound type, alarm and then you can enter advanced settings.  This will allow you to adjust the sensitivity, alert expiration time, peanut color and you can export to CSV. The sensor is very sensitive at the medium sensitivity and the volume is more than adequate at medium.  I placed the device into to the top pocket of my Bolt Backpack from M-Edge and was able to hear the sound.  However, loud was better for this utility.  If on the outside of your bag, medium is adequate.

I really like that this will keep track of the number of times that the motion sensor has been activated in a log on the application. The sensor is quite sensitive and will alarm with a slight motion.  If someone picks it up, it will alert.  If it is kicked/knocked over, it will alert.  Placing it onto the sheets of a bed and getting into bed activated the alarm.  Placing the device into my MacSources fleece pocket and picking up the jacket, caused the alarm to activate.  It works well for stationary objects and will alert when they are moved.  It will not, however, tell you where they are, where they are moved to or track them. You can silence the alarm at the button but cannot deactivate it without the smartphone.

If you want to turn it off, you can push the stop button on the app and the monitor will be turned off. The battery is replaceable by prying the two halves apart.  I am quite pleased with the mounting options.  The putty will allow you to temporarily stick it to a surface and replace it somewhere else. Think of this like a door/window sensor, a drawer sensor.  This would work perfectly for college students or roommate living situations.  You can know when your drawer is opened.  You can know when you bag was moved or closet door opened.  Link it to an iPad (that remains in your room) and have a discreet way to monitor your stuff.  The putty is mildly oily and may leave a stain on some surfaces if left for a length of time.  Drywall/paint may be the most likely to stain.  I used this inside of a drawer and had no issues on the wood.  I placed it behind my bathroom mirror for about 60 minutes.  The device was very stable with the putty and there was no stain on the wall.  I would caution long term use until you know it will not affect your pain.

SensePeanut REVIEW: Multiple Sensor OptionsThe clip will allow you to attach to clothing and the keyring will allow you to attach this to your keys. It also has a piece of sticky tape, which will allow a more semipermanent mounting option. Really the only negative that I have for this device is the plastic clip.  There needs to be a better way, more secure way to hold the peanut to the clip.  It is very easy to push the peanut out of the holder and discard it.  I carried it inside my bag and never had the two parts separate.  I would worry a little that the device would fall out, especially if on keys or the outside of the bag. I have forgotten that the alarm was active and started myself a few times.  That is rather humorous.  I would rate the device at 4/5 stars and is a really neat device/add-on for your gear.

The ThermoPeanut is very similar to the GuardPeanut except it has temperature monitoring features. I placed this onto my badge at CES and checked temperature with it.  The unboxing is very similar to the GuardPeanut, the sizes are the same, the included accessories are the same.  This peanut is red.  Once you have the App already installed, simply touch “+ Add a Peanut.”  The app has 4 screens and you can swipe left/right to access the screens.  The thermopeanut senses ambient temperature and records it in a bar graph.  If you select the three circles along the bottom right you can access the customize, help, account, store and information tabs.  You are able to set the high/low alarm sensors, change the name, and turn on/off notifications.  Also, from this screen, you can make the peanut ring. Under advanced settings you can change the measurement frequency (15 minutes was the default), the notification interval (2 hours was the default), you can turn on/off the sound alert, reset the high/low.  Change between Fahrenheit and Celsius. You can also configure the button for IFTTT.  To use this feature, you will need to connect, sign in to IFTT and follow with the options.  Ideally, this will allow you to control the room thermostat or fan, automatically, if the temperature falls outside of a range. You can also set this up for nest configuration and update the device from this screen.

The device does not adjust temperature quickly.  While on the Monorail it was reading in the mid 70’s.  While it was sleeting at the Las Vegas convention Center on 1/7/17, the device was measuring 58 degrees and the local temperature was 44 degrees.  After being outside about 10 minutes the device felt cooler and the temperature was roughly 50 degrees.  It works best by leaving it in a place and allowing it to sense over time.  Inside of the app, you will get a bar graph of temperatures over time.  Touch each bar and it will tell you the temp, it will give you an average over the last 24 hours and 30 days.  It connects via Bluetooth just like the GuardPeanut and requires about 40-50 feet to function with your smart device.  Again, having an apple device that stays near the device, will keep it connected and checking temperatures.  I am excited about the IFTT integration but have not been able to test these features yet.  The packaging is eye catching, but the name may confuse some people about the intended role.  These are not medical nor do they have anything to do with peanut food.

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For more information, visit sen.se/peanuts.
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