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Nest Protect Reinvents Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detection

by Sean P. Aune | October 8, 2013October 8, 2013 8:30 am PDT

Nest announced its new smoke detector today, the Nest Protect, which will also check for carbon monoxide and adds several other new features to the aging technology.

If there is one thing you can say for Nest, founded by original iPod inventor Tony Fadell, it’s that the company looks to innovate in areas that have been sorely neglected over the years. It’s first product to hit the market was the Nest Learning Thermostat that completely reimagined the lowly thermostat that had been pretty much neglected for the past few decades. Now the company has announced its second home product, the Nest Protect and it’s looking to completely redesign the smoke detector.

The smoke detector is one of those products that is essential in every home, but also end up annoying you eventually to where you stop using them. Be it from going off while you’re cooking to that annoying chirp when its battery is running low. The new Nest Protect is designed to tell you everything through a series of different colored lights that appear in the ring around the center logo as well as speaking to you. If you’re away from home, you can also check in that everything is okay by using the Nest app on your iOS or Android device. Should anything go wrong, you’ll be alerted and told where in the home it’s happening – should you have more than one unit – and if you’re at home it will pop up with reminders to tell you the safest procedures to evacuate as well as a link to call emergency services.

On the side of minor annoyances with smoke detectors of today is the low battery chirp and the pain of the alarm going off while your cooking. The Nest Protect will first give you a warning light that it senses something is wrong as well as tell you, but thanks to just a few waves of your hand you can tell it to ignore what is happening, so feel free to burn your cooking to your heart’s content.

As smoke detectors go, the Nest Protect is definitely on the advanced side of things, and it is definitely welcome changes from those “dumb” models that have existed for decades. The Nest Protect will retail for $129 when it is released in the coming months and will be available in both battery and wired models. If you wish to connect the new detector to your home security system, those models will also launch in the near future.

Nest Protect: The Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm Reinvented

Safety Shouldn’t Be Annoying, Nest Protect Addresses Nuisance Alarms and
Low-Battery Chirps to Help Keep Families Safe

Nest Labs Expands to the United Kingdom

Palo Alto, California — October 8, 2013 — Nest Labs, Inc. (www.nest.com) announced today breakthrough innovation that redefines what people should expect from their smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. These products should keep us safe, not annoy us. Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide™ does much more than just sound a shrill alarm when there’s danger in your home. It speaks to you, telling you where the danger is and what the problem is. And before it sounds a piercing alarm, Nest Protect gives you a friendly Heads-Up warning that you can silence with a wave of your hand – no more swinging towels or brooms to try to quiet a false alarm. It integrates with your mobile devices and even messages you if the batteries run low, avoiding that all-too-familiar midnight low-battery chirp.

“With our first product, the Nest Learning Thermostat, we set out to help people reduce home energy use,” said Tony Fadell, Nest founder and chief executive officer. “Now, we’re turning our attention to something that’s also important: keeping families safe in their homes. We’ve all experienced the smoke alarm going off while we’re cooking or searched for the source of that incessant low-battery chirp in the middle of the night. Every time a smoke alarm cries wolf, we trust it a little less, and then – in a moment of frustration – we rip the batteries out to stop the beeping. And that leaves us and our families at risk.”

According to a study by the National Fire Protection Agency of smoke alarms that failed to activate during home fires, 73 percent of them had dead, missing or disconnected batteries. Nuisance alarms were the leading reason for disconnected smoke alarms.

“Safety shouldn’t be annoying,” said Matt Rogers, Nest founder and vice president of engineering. “It was unacceptable to us that almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. These products are required by law and are supposed to keep us safe, yet people hate them. We wanted to change that, so we created Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide.”
Product Features

High-quality smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. Nest Protect is a multi-criteria detector with heat, CO, and smoke sensors that work together to detect danger.

Heads-Up. If Nest Protect sees that smoke or CO levels are rising but have not yet reached emergency alarm levels, it will give you an early warning so it can avoid crying wolf.

Nest Wave. No need to wave towels or climb on chairs. Nest Protect lets you silence nuisance alarms with a wave of your hand.

Mobile notifications. Connect Nest Protect to your free Nest account using Wi-Fi and you can receive low-battery alerts, Heads Up and emergency alarm notifications on your smartphone or tablet. In an emergency, the What to Do feature will remind you of recommended actions and give you one-button access to an emergency phone number.

Nightly Promise. Sleep safe and sound. Before you doze off, Nest Protect shows you its sensors and batteries are working with a quick green glow after you turn off the lights so low-battery chirps don’t rattle your dreams.

Pathlight. Nest Protect offers more than just smoke and CO warnings. Its LED lights can be a night light in your home. When it’s dark, Nest Protect will light your way as you walk underneath it.

Vocal alarms. According to a study by Victoria University, children can sleep through beeping smoke alarms. So in addition to alarm sounds, Nest Protect uses female Voice Alarms to help wake sleeping children in case of emergency.

More sensors, more features. Nest Protect’s sensors include a photoelectric smoke sensor, CO sensor, heat sensor, light sensor, ultrasonic sensors and activity sensor. Together, they analyze smoke and CO levels, see when you wave, and light your way at night.

Wireless interconnect. If you have more than one Nest Protect, they connect so you’ll hear alarms from all Nest Protects in your home, even if the danger is in only one room.

Design. Nest Protect introduces a distinctive square shape with a white sunflower pattern. A black version will be available only at www.nest.com.

Multiple languages. In the U.S., Nest Protect offers voice alerts in both English and Spanish. Simply select your preferred language during setup.
Better Together

For families that have both the Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect, a free Nest user account allows the products to work together. If Nest Protect’s carbon monoxide alarm goes off, your Nest thermostat automatically turns off your gas furnace, a possible source of poisonous carbon monoxide leaks. In addition, the Nest Protect activity sensors improve the Auto-Away feature of your Nest thermostat.
New Nest App

The Nest app on iOS, Android and the Web can be used to set up, control, and get alerts for both Nest Protect and the Nest Learning Thermostat. Available in English, Spanish and French, the Nest app will be updated with a new design and new features when Nest Protect ships.
Pricing and Availability

Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide is expected to be on sale in November at Amazon, Apple, Best Buy and The Home Depot for a suggested retail price of $129.00 (U.S.). It will be available in two versions – wired (120V) and battery-powered – and in two colors: white and black. To be first to experience the benefits of Nest Protect, go to www.nest.com to reserve yours today. Independent testing to demonstrate compliance with U.S., Canadian, and European smoke and CO standards is underway at leading test agencies. A version of Nest Protect that will be compatible with wired security systems is expected to be available in early 2014. Nest Protect will also be available in Canada and the U.K.


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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