ANN ARBOR, Mich., Nov. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Dexter Research Center - Whether you're rich, of middle income or poor, apparently your fear of losing your home is rising.
"This has nothing to do with bad mortgages or job loss," explains Robert Toth, Jr., the CEO of one of the world's centers of expertise in non-contact sensing.
"Google Trends tells us that our fears are rising around power outages, failed furnaces, leaking roofs, frozen pipes, flooded basements, fires caused by arson or failed wiring or highly stressed batteries in our computers," continues the president of Dexter Research Center. "Just as Google search patterns are faster at letting doctors know about outbreaks of deadly disease like Ebola than hospital reports, they also reliably tells us what else increasingly alarms people."
Toth's company, Dexter Research Center, is seeking crowdfunding through Kickstarter to enable a technology transfer of Dexter Research's knowledge as a mission-critical military and aerospace sensor supplier to consumer home temperature monitoring systems. For more information, visit the DexTemp Kickstarter page.
"Whatever the age of the home, and no matter the quality of insulation, plumbing, wiring, foundation and roofing, I have yet to find a homeowner who does not feel at risk," Toth says.
Certainly, there are advanced home monitoring systems tied to sensor packages and programmed circuitry that will call you, email you, or just wail into the night wind hoping that someone hears. At least, as long as there is power. But what happens if you are away and a storm takes out the power grid, landlines and the cell towers at the same time?
But Rob Toth is convinced that he can do more.
His company, Dexter Research Center, has manufactured the infrared sensors in the fire detection/suppression systems of America's battle tanks and personnel carriers over our past three major wars. These are rugged, fast and reliable. If a rocket hits a vehicle fuel tank, the fire is put out almost before it begins, thanks to the military's choice of Dexter's sensors.
"We're the best in the world," says Toth. "As I listen to my neighbors and look at the rising fear represented in the trend data, I began to wonder why we don't do something to help them protect their homes and vacation cottages or places of work."
The answer is that while Dexter Research sensors were installed on many Space Shuttle flights, and even were installed on the international space station, they are kind of expensive for consumer use.
"We are a small company with exceptional knowledge of the capabilities of our technology," says Toth. "What I need is a self-funding market research and product design strategy so that I can build the better home temperature monitoring system at a lower price. That's when the idea of using Kickstarter came about."
Kickstarter is the most famous of several crowdfunding web-based initiatives. Participants don't invest but rather give money to see outcomes they want. These may be their dream rock concert, a superior home culinary tool, a better way of taking care of their pet, or an affordable killer home temperature monitoring system that should cost three times more than it does and works three times better than its price-point competitors.
"If they give us the money through Kickstarter, we know the market wants a better and more affordable home system," Toth feels.
"If they don't give us the money, we know they are happy with what they have, confident that they can leave for work in the morning, or go out of town for business or vacation, and expect to find their home intact when they return without installing our engineering innovations.
"But then why are all those people searching for it online in numbers that have risen over the past decade?
"Our design will provide Kickstarter givers at the $110 threshold with the technology to remotely monitor temperatures in their home. It reports through your home's internet connection to a web-enabled dashboard that runs in the background of their computer or tablet. This is real-time ongoing assurance that their home is still there, safe and sound. The technology sends texts and emails if your home is suddenly at risk, even if your computer is off. There are no other fees or things to buy from us."
When asked about similar devices from companies without military supplier experience, Toth says, "You should buy their home systems and let me know what you think.
"They all depend on electricity," the CEO of Dexter Research continues. "Some rely on the service of their power company. Others use batteries. But Dexter Research's sensors are combined with a web-enabled strategy that will report that your power has failed, or that your Internet has failed, or both, and will transmit the failure to you by text messages and emails, even after fundamental energy and communication systems have ceased to work."
A typical headline in both print and online media reads: Extreme Weather Has Driven A Ten-Fold Increase In Power Outages Over The Last Two Decades. Toth reasons that consumers will find the security of Dexter Research's home temperature system reassuring in face of skyrocketing power outages and the resulting home damage across America, and that Kickstarter crowdfunders will want to help their neighbors and also be the first to have a Dexter Research designed home temperature monitoring system and the peace of mind it will bring.
"If the collective crowd that gathers in Kickstarter's space chooses to fund our product feature and capabilities, it sends us a signal, loud and clear to build more than a better mousetrap. It will say people want a Dexter Research designed system.
"That is the genius of the Kickstarter model, and why I believe in it," Toth says. "People will say one thing in a market research study, but it is how they vote with their own money that matters."
SOURCE Dexter Research Center