Sen.se GuardPeanut Review: A $29 movement sensor for the IoT

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If you’ve ever spent time working at your local Starbucks, you’ll probably be familiar with the Coffee Guilt Security Dilemma. It’s the feeling that you should probably buy another drink, because you don’t want to be labeled a freeloader, yet you’re worried about leaving your laptop on the table while you queue. Do you pack everything up and risk someone stealing your spot by the outlet? French Internet of Things firm Sense wants to assuage your paranoid guilt, and it’s doing that with the $29 GuardPeanut.

It’s the second sensor in Sense’s IoT series, following on from the ThermoPeanut. That, as the name suggests, focused on temperature: effectively a thermometer probe blended with a Bluetooth dongle. It donated its form-factor to this new sensor, though the goal is now security.guardpeanut-slider-luggage-hotel

The dimple in the GuardPeanut itself is actually a button; long-pressing it toggles the motion alarm on and off. Sense is adding IFTTT integration as well, so you’ll be able to trigger other services when motion is detected, though that wasn’t enabled during my testing. Unlike the ThermoPeanut, there’s no Nest support: GuardPeanut doesn’t have a thermometer.

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First, I tried attaching it to my bag using the clip and keychain. Sure enough, at the default medium sensitivity level, as soon as I picked it up I got a notification on my iPhone and a series of beeps from the GuardPeanut itself. Unfortunately there’s no way to set the alarm so that it only sounds if it’s not connected to its host device.

Next, I mounted it on the front door. With sensitivity set to maximum, even a knock on the door triggered an alert. Since you can pair a single GuardPeanut with multiple iOS and Android devices – just as long as they support Bluetooth 4.0+ – it doesn’t matter which phone is nearby; it automatically connects to whichever is closest.

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There’s no shortage of Bluetooth trackers on the market these days, with Tile, TrackR, and several others all promising to help keep an eye on your keys or belongings. GuardPeanut differs slightly in that it doesn’t offer much in the way of locating lost items beyond the siren: there’s no map or crowdsourced positioning. On the flip side, none of the others have the same smart home potential.

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