Re: Smart isn't enough
Agreed, Thomas. Right now, this area is mostly building blocks, not consumer-ready solutions. Supermechanical's approach with Twine, at least back in 2011 when we launched it, has been that building blocks are right for a market that doesn't yet know what the useful solution would be - much as how it took both the Apple ][ and a host of third parties to lead to more integrated computers. We have learned about specific things that people do with Twine, that are worth exploring further, but as you say, installation of things you rarely replace is not ideal. That's why we focused on making something that is completely self-contained - batteries and WiFi. For a while yet, I think there will be smart 'appendages' to appliances that offer a gentler introduction and yet bring much of the benefit of giving your appliances a voice on the Internet.
That said, I hear from people who saved themselves thousands or tens of thousands of dollars from pipes bursting during this winter's polar vortex, or spent that much and said they wish they'd had a Twine to warn them when they were out. Peace of mind is worth something, too.