Earzz is the name of a clever gadget that can monitor your home for you. It does it, as the funkily spelled name suggests, by audio alone, which is a benefit if you have concerns about having a home security device with a camera in your bedroom, for instance.
It’s an unassuming-looking device, a near-cube shape measuring around 2 inches in each direction. And it’s cuter than a cube might be, thanks to its tapered curves that lead to a square button on the top. That button is what you press to start the pairing process and it blinks with a gratifying gentleness as you set it up. You need the Earzz app for iPhone or Android to do this, too.
Once set up, you choose which sounds you want it to listen to, including doorbells, buzzers, appliance beeps, dogs barking, baby cries, coughs or even snoring (though if you include this to prove to your partner that they really do snore, you may be on a hiding to nothing).
It’s a very simple set-up and you’re quickly done. Then, it’s simply a matter of leaving the Earzz to do its business. You can place it almost anywhere as it has a rechargeable battery so it runs for eight hours with no power, or you can leave it plugged in to the wall.
A live microphone in your home could still be a security issue, but Earzz isn’t listening out for your words, only the noises you have selected. And it’s pretty accurate. It heard knocks, buzzers and coughs when they happened.
It works by converting audio snippets of a couple of seconds into images which the AI can analyze. Only the images are stored, not the sounds themselves.
When it hears a sound that it thinks is one you’ve chosen, it sends a notification to your phone. So, you’ll know if the dog’s barking wherever you are, for instance. Just as usefully, if you’re at the bottom of the garden and someone knocks the front door, it’ll tell you.
If you want to know when sounds happen but don’t need constant notifications, you can set the Earzz to log sounds without telling you.
Right now, it’s on sale in the U.K. only, but other countries are expected to follow. It sells for $151 (£119.99) as a one-off purchase, or you can choose a $10 (£8) a month subscription, which offers greater smart home integration. However, even the one-off purchase means you get access to the sound catalogue of sounds, 20 and growing, plus alerts on smartphones, tablets and smartwatches.
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