Did you know that Heat Seek's first round of sensors were entirely designed and built by volunteers? Back when we won BigApps in 2014, we had one working prototype and it looked like this ↓ !
Lucky for us, we have some of the best volunteers in the world. They're incredibly talented hardware engineers, software developers, and designers, and they helped us build the custom Heat Seek sensors we've been using ever since.
But after three winters in the field, a significant number of our sensors are broken or worn out. It's time for Heat Seek to level up, with a new sensor design that's more reliable, more precise, and less expensive to install.
We're moving away from our original mesh network design - radio signals don't travel well through dense concrete and metal rebar, making our whole system fragile - and instead planning for each sensor to have its own onboard internet connection.
To increase versatility and reduce cost, our new sensors will be able to connect to WiFi, cellular internet, or even LoRaWAN, depending on the situation. This means we can maximize connectivity options and do installs in the coldest apartments in a building, regardless of the building's layout.
The new sensor will have a more precise thermometer (+/- .5° C) and a humidity sensor to calculate the heat index, for future summer use.
These new sensors will be more reliable, significantly easier to install, quicker to manufacture, and ultimately provide our clients with better data.
This is a large part of why we need your support now. It's not often that a nonprofit designs a hardware product, an expensive, time-consuming process that requires highly-skilled labor. If we could purchase an off-the-shelf sensor that meets our clients' needs, we certainly would. But so far, there isn't a cheaper alternative to the custom temperature sensors we're building.
In order for our new sensors to be ready for fall, we need to start the manufacturing process now. Will you help us keep more neighbors warm?
If you believe in Heat Seek's mission, we need your support today to raise $50,000. This allows us to:
- Double the number of cold New Yorkers Heat Seek serves
- Improve Heat Seek’s sensor design to be cheaper and more reliable
- Advocate for new regulations to force the worst landlords to install sensors in their buildings
- Wrap up this winter's court cases that are using Heat Seek’s sensor data, ensuring that those tenants aren’t back in court next year