RSS

The Bulletin

Nest halts sales of talking smoke alarm

Posting in Technology
Nest Labs, the company acquired by Google for $3.2 billion in January, has halted sales of its smart smoke and carbon dioxide alarm over concerns the device could be unintentionally turned off. 

The Nest Protect, which was introduced last year, is controlled by smartphone applications or a computer, much like the company's smart learning thermostat. Concerns surround a feature in the device called Nest Wave, which allows users to turn off the alarm with a wave of the hand. 

During a recent round of laboratory testing, the company discovered the Nest Wave feature could be unintentionally activated, Nest CEO Tony Fadell wrote in a letter. 

More from Fadell:

This could delay an alarm going off if there was a real fire. We idenitfied this problem ourselves and are not aware of any customers who have experienced this, but the fact that it could even potentially happen is extremely important to me and I want to address it immediately.

We feel that the best and safest thing to do is to immediately disable the Nest Wave feature to resolve the issue and remove any safety concerns. While we fix Nest Wave, we have also halted sales of all new Nest Protect alarms to ensure no one buys an alarm that needs an immediate update.

For consumers who own the alarm and have it connected to a Nest account via wi-fi, the Wave feature will be disabled. Once Nest has resolved the problem, it will update the software to turn the feature back on. 

The fix will take an estimated two to three months, Fadell said. 

Related: 

— By on April 4, 2014, 10:38 AM PST

Kirsten Korosec

Contributing Editor

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure