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Too-smart Nest smoke detectors back on the shelf

Posting in Technology

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Google's Nest smart smoke alarms, which had to be pulled from the shelves after sensors worked too well, are now back on sale at a lower price -- without the features that caused safety concerns.

"We're very pleased that Nest Protect is once again available to customers," Nest marketing chief Doug Sweeny said in a blog post. "And now, the price is $99 to make it accessible to as many people as possible."

The smart gadget, which is Web-connected and part of the Internet of Things (IoT) movement, combines a smoke detector and carbon monoxide monitor. Previously, the gadget cost $129, and could be controlled by hand gestures instead of users being required to get up close to the ceiling and punch buttons to control the smoke alarm.

However, the sensors worked too well -- and it was discovered that random hand gestures could accidentally turn the alarm's silent feature on.

An over-the-air patch was issued to existing models to disable the feature, but new alarms were also taken off the shelves by Nest until the software fix was applied.

Nest was acquired in January by Google for $3.2 billion. In addition to the smoke detector range, Nest also offers a smart thermostat which can be controlled through mobile devices.

Read on: Nest

Image credit: Nest

— By on June 18, 2014, 9:21 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure