Birdi: So Much More than a Smoke Detector

Birdi is a device that monitors the air in your home. “Better than a smoke detector” is the brand essence prominently featured on the product marketing. The company has established online channels through its website, Facebook, Twitter, and even Weibo for the Chinese market. (www.getbirdi.com, https://www.facebook.com/Birdi, https://twitter.com/birdi, http://weibo.com/birdi) By choosing smoke detectors as the marketing frame of reference, Birdi is positioned as a home safety device reimagined, with a range of features for monitoring indoor air quality. Not only can it warn you in the event of an emergency; it gives you everyday feedback about indoor pollutants and gives you options to reduce them. It goes without saying that Birdi is a connected device with mobile interface, API, and the ability to connect through something called a land-line. The logic of an all-encompassing home air sensor is clear. Why should anyone settle for several one-function devices to monitor different components of air quality? Why should a smoke detector be an ugly device with generally negative connotations all-around? Aha, there is the challenge Birdi faces. There is an established schema for smoke detectors and other home safety devices. They’re located somewhere near locksets and protective gear in the hardware store—not as interesting as the placement for other health oriented consumer electronics. Birdi is taking aim and trying to change the schema. The message linking everyday health with serious emergencies like house fires is difficult to craft clearly. The two topics are somewhat uncomfortably positioned together on the Birdi website. However, the company appears to be telling their story well through its social media channels. Birdi appears to be a serious participant in the connected home transformation.

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