It will read the ambient temperature of your environment every 15 minutes, costs peanuts (£30/$30), looks like one and can be taken anywhere. For the British, who talk about the temperature and weather to an obsessive degree, this new Sen.se ThermoPeanut Smart Wireless Thermometer product, in a line of other identically shaped sensors for your home, will probably produce quite a lot of excitement. Rest assured that the remainder of planet Earth might find a use for it also!
In the box a gift bag is found containing putty, a key ring and a self adhesive strip for equipping the ThermoPeanut onto bags and surfaces. We’ve had ours dangling from bags, in freezers, cool bags, clipped onto clothing and most of the time it lives on surfaces at the studio thanks to the self adhesive strip. The ThermoPeanut - well, it looks like a peanut in shape and comes red fronted with an otherwise white plastic shell. The battery is thankfully easily replaceable and only a single button exists to produce an audio beep reading when the temperature is within the designated user perimeter of range. It’s put together reasonably well and has survived our freezer - in fact, it can read temperatures between -20° to 60° C; but the clip on the back, intended to attach onto bags or even clothing, is all plastic in mechanism and will no doubt one day become brittle and snap. Furthermore, an obvious benefit and negative is that it’s small: it’s easy to discretely hide out of view and take from room to room and also entirely too easy to misplace. The fact it can play audio beeps seems like an obvious reason to include a function within the App to play a beep sound when we can’t find it.
Available for iOS and Android the App is the window to the Sen.se ThermoPeanut and is its method of set-up too. To start with you are required to establish a Bluetooth connection, which we did via our iPhone 6s Plus, and it’s worth noting that it desires to have a constant Bluetooth relationship when in range. Using Bluetooth 4.0+ versions this wasn’t a concern because the battery impact has been absolutely unnoticeable. The smart home isn't a new concept but the way sen.se are pitching it is. We have robot lawnmowers, fans, speakers, lighting that all connects to our iPhones. But the Sen.se Peanut is a little different, it doesn’t feed this data to the Internet so we can view it outside the home; instead the moment both devices disengage the functionality goes with it. We feel a Wi-Fi based system would have been more appropriate, where readings were stored in the cloud, but no doubt the price would have increased had this been included. Nest thermostat integration is coming though.
The SensePeanut App itself, like the device, is simple and straight to the point. Upon opening it you get a large time-stamped readout of the current temperature and if tapped it will receive an exact readout for that moment. Otherwise it records a reading every 15 minutes by default but can be manually told to retrieve every 3 minutes for the most frequent retrieval. Underneath the large time stamp are more intricate half hourly, daily and monthly summaries of temperatures displayed in charts. This information is fed back to the App, and if the Bluetooth signal isn't established the Sen.se ThermoPeanut is supposed to store the data (it can hold 1 month) and transmit it upon being in range of a device. With regard to this we’ve noticed a few glitches that will hopefully be ironed out in updates; the most annoying being missing data of temperature time stamps from the bar chart. Occasionally they have a habit of vanishing, and either not showing the last 12 hours or instead the previous 12 appear in their place. This definitely needs addressing quickly, and also why can we only see the most intricate level of temperature recording in 30 minute chunks? - instead why not show our recorded 15 minute readings via a slider? Something we did find useful were the notifications from the App to alert us when the temperature dipped below 15° C.
Of all the convoluted pieces of equipment you can buy to obtain temperature readings of any environment, the Sen.se ThermoPeanut makes complete and utter sense for all domestic usage, right through to seeing if the fridge freezer is running smoothly. It's unfortunate that if you leave the home it becomes redundant and we would eagerly like to see Wi-Fi cloud functionality down the line. Nevertheless, when at home the Bluetooth method it uses for connection works well, and we look forward to exploring further Peanuts from Sen.se.