Airbnb offers hosts sensors to monitor noisy guests: report

Airbnb offers noise sensors to hosts to monitor guest activities
Rental property hosting company Airbnb is offering sensors to help hosts monitor noise levels in their homes. (Airbnb)

If you're thinking of holding a party next time you rent a property through Airbnb, think twice.

With rampant stories of guests trashing and having raucous parties in its homes, the rental hosting company has suggested on its website that hosts purchase sensors to monitor activity in their properties, according to an online Forbes article.

“We want to help you protect your space, maintain the privacy of your guests, and preserve your relationship with neighbors,” said Airbnb on its website. “This means helping you detect issues in real time.”

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According to the article, the three “party prevention” devices are all easy to fit, and can be ceiling or wall-mounted. The devices, designated Minut, NoiseAware, and Roomonitor, are offered with a monthly subscription that varies from nothing to $10 per month, depending on the device purchased and the number of properties listed.

Airbnb reportedly said it does not “endorse” the devices, but it does offer strong customer endorsements, with one U.S. lister telling the platform that “finding Noise Aware was a miracle for us—we now have peace of mind that our neighbors have a peaceful neighborhood. Thank you for developing such a simple system!"

According to the report, the sensors have long been available, but Airbnb has only been promoting them the past few months, offering discounts for Airbnb hosts to encourage purchases.

Amidst some concerns that Airbnb is invading its clients’ privacy, the sensors are primarily noise detectors that gauge, but do not record sounds. Nor do they record videos.  

A look at the site reveals there are differences between the devices. For instance, the NoiseAware Indoor Sensor, priced at $149, can alert the host within minutes of sustained noise levels. The Minut sensor, priced at $99, is designed to monitor noise, temperature, and humidity and functions as an alarm when the property is unoccupied. The Roomonitor sensor, at $165, is promoted as a noise control device for short-term rentals.

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