Keen air vent system, runs on sensors that detect occupancy and temperature.

Fortune home tech maven Stacey Higginbotham covers the big-time arrival of sensors in HVAC systems, that detect both occupancy and temperature and communicate that back to a hub. From there, the system runs algorithms to determine whether or not the room should be cooled or heated.

She spotlights start-up company Keen which makes a connected vent that opens or closes when it detects people in the room, or when it senses that the room is too hot or cold. As for the price, Higginbotham writes, it ain't cheap.

The idea is that a homeowner would pay $80 per vent (the initial kit with a vent and bridge to connect the vents to a Wi-Fi network costs $120) and eventually your home becomes so smart that it only heats or cools rooms based on occupancy and their temperature.

I’ve been waiting for Keen to get these vents to the market ever since meeting them in March of 2014. As of Friday, they will finally be in Lowe’s stores and on The battery-powered vents are compatible with both the Lowe’s Iris hub and the SmartThings home automation hub.
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