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Stove-still-on cell alarm

never worry whether you accidentally left the stove on
  [vote for,

Today I accidentally walked out of the house to run some errands forgetting that the stove was still on (cooking pasta). I found out only after I returned. This is at least the second time that this has happened to me in my lifetime. Here is the solution:
Install cell based transceiver on the stove. Hook up electronics that monitor whether the stove is on or not. The stove transceiver will send "heartbeat" messages directly to my cell phone at 1 minute intervals. The critical detail is that these heartbeat messages are sent low level directly between the stove transceiver and my cell phone - as if the stove transceiver was a extremely very low power cell tower. If more than 5 consecutive heartbeats are missed, the stove transceiver delivers a warning SMS, email or voice mail message to my cell phone over standard cellular network.
The message would say something like this: "Hey stupid! You appear to be away from the stove, did you realize that it's still on?"
Now, I don't know enough about the internals of the cell phone communications. But I'm working under the assumption that a cell tower can "ping" a specific cell phone based on it's hardware ID. If this is out of the question, then this idea is still valid as applied to wifi enabled cell phones. IP protocol does allow such ping mechanism and the limited wifi range is perfect for detecting whether I away from the house or not. However, I hope that wifi is not a requirement and that this would work for any GSM/GPRS/G3 cell phone with no special applications whatsoever.
If the underlying technology is sound, it could also serve as a replacement for "Angel Alert" devices.
ixnaum, Aug 03 2009

Taking Your Keys? Turn Off Your House. http://www.ecogeek....turn-off-your-house
The router knows when you're in the house, and when you're not, it turns itself off. But it doesn't use fancy IR detectors or RFID chips, instead, it holds your keys. [steam_cannon, Aug 04 2009]

Smart Homes Create a Conversation with Your House http://www.servicem...ur-House.14386.html
What if you could monitor your house from afar? Did you leave that burner on? Check the internet once you get to work and tell the stove to turn itself off. [steam_cannon, Aug 04 2009]


       There are many people who leave the stove on when they go out *on purpose*. For those of us, yourself and myself, that don't do anything that complex, an easier way would be to have a little switch next to the on-board fuses that you could set for "gourmet"(leave the stove on if it's on) or "newbie"(turn the stove off after an hour).   

       Of course an entire "household status" thing you could phone into would be, but that's different.
FlyingToaster, Aug 03 2009

       //There are many people who leave the stove on when they go out *on purpose*//
No reason to mark this down for that reason alone, I thought of that too. I didn't include it in the description because it has obvious solution: just ignore that alarm, or push a "do-not-freak-out-if I'm-gone-button" on the stove.
That switch you are describing won't work for me. I regularly have the stove on for more than 3 hours, but I'm always nearby. If I forget and walk out, I absolutely need the alarm. If I choose to ignore the alarm - fine.
ixnaum, Aug 03 2009

       mmm, not one much for adding complexity to the life of somebody that already knows enough not to leave the stove on when they leave the house.   

       ok [+] but it has to be an optional piece of equipment.
FlyingToaster, Aug 03 2009

       ... yes definitely optional   

       Adding complexity to lives is bad. Adding complexity to devices to make lives simpler is good. You are right, this device is quite complicated - however, it's use is very simple.
1) Buy stove equipped with this gizmo or buy an upgrade module
2) Stove scans for nearby phones when first
powered on. And asks you which one you'd like to receive alarms.
3) (optional) you can press the "do-not-freak-out-if I'm-gone-button" if you want to suppress alarms temporarily.
ixnaum, Aug 03 2009

       For some with OCD not being sure whether the stove is on or off is a real problem. Maybe for sufferers the stove could send a message telling them the stove is not on after they've left the house. Repeatedly.
shudderprose, Aug 03 2009

       My cooktop (Bosch ceramic) has a cooking timer (i.e. will turn off after a user set time) which I use quite a bit, which gives some peace-of-mind when cooking.   

       I look forward to the day when it is standard for houses to be wired up with sensors for everything (e.g. is the fridge door open, did I close and lock all the doors/windows, are the lights off etc). The sensors would all be fed into a website which I could: a) look at when concerned about my house (via web enabled phone), or b) set conditions for SMS alerts.
xaviergisz, Aug 03 2009

       I like this idea and I'll add on to it:   

       Have the stove and perhaps other home appliances simply turn off if you wander off. Sure the system could send you a message, but even with no complex message system, turning off would be the safest and most convenient way this could work. And if messages aren't needed, then cellphones aren't needed either.   

       Mechanically the devices could be a box that plugs into the wall between appliances or is wired in between the stove and the electric lines. It would have relays to act as breakers if the person is not there.   

       If the device was not a cellphone:   

       * It could be just a simple radio transmitter, it could be very small. Like the size of a pen, it could fit inside of a belt buckle or clip on a shoe.   

       * The device could use an RFID tag in the persons, wallet, shoes, belt... And if the person walked out the door, a sensor would detect that they left and turn off everything.   

       * The device could use a simple optical door monitor in the kitchen. If they leave the kitchen while they are cooking, everything turns off. When they walk back in, it all turns back on.   

       Example: Grandpa Forgetmenot puts on his pants, belt and shoes, starts up the coffee pot, starts boiling some noodles, then goes for a walk to eat at the diner. If Grandpa wanders off with the stove on or other appliances, they would sense he is gone and simply turn off. If Grandpa wanders out of the kitchen to take a nap, the appliances turn off.   

       This wouldn't be that hard to rig up. This is a good idea. :)
steam_cannon, Aug 04 2009


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