Makers of Nest thermostat to make 'Protect' smoke detector [u]

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Nest Labs, the brainchild of former Apple executive Tony Fadell, is developing a connected smoke detector to go along with its Nest Learning Thermostat, with the device possibly slated for debut later this year.

Update: A follow-up report from AllThingsD cites a source as saying the smoke detector will be named "Protect," but will not be initially offered with a subscription plan for monitoring alerts.

Nest
Original Nest (left) compared to second-generation unit.


Although not much is known about the Nest's supposed smoke detector, the device is apparently being developed to go along with the flagship Nest Learning Thermostat and would presumably be just as sensor laden, with advanced communications technology on-board, reports Jessica Lessin.

People familiar with the future product said specifics have yet to be nailed down, but features may include a subscription monitoring service, communication with the Nest thermostat and the inclusion of next-generation hardware like motion sensors. The sources failed to indicate when the unit might hit store shelves, though it could be as early as the end of this year.

Adding a smoke detector to the company's lineup is perhaps the next logical step for Nest, which is looking to create a suite of "connected home" products that are as sleek as they are functional.

When the Nest Learning Thermostat first launched nearly two years ago, it promised to bring smart home capabilities to the masses with a somewhat affordable $250 price tag. The original device was sold through Apple Stores and home improvement chains like Lowes.

A second-generation thermostat was released about one year ago, with the aluminum clad device getting a slight redesign and enhanced functionality. It's available from Amazon and other retailers for roughly $250.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21

    So I'm asleep with my phone turned off and Nest is silently warning me that my kitchen is on fire. Sweet :no:

  • Reply 2 of 21
    takeotakeo Posts: 420member
    Would be nice if had a "cooking" mode to disable it for 30 minutes and automatically reactive afterwards... via an iPhone app of course. I have to get up on a ladder and pull the battery out of my smoke detector anytime I cook pan-fried fresh scallops (super hot oil in a heavy skillet). And yes, it's a so-called "kitchen" smoke detector... and it's not even in the kitchen... and I have a vent hood!!! Doesn't matter. Damn alarm goes of every time. So annoying.
  • Reply 3 of 21
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hentaiboy View Post

     

    So I'm asleep with my phone turned off and Nest is silently warning me that my kitchen is on fire. Sweet :no:


     

    From which orifice did you pull that out?

     

    Quote:

    We also hear that Nest has discussed features like the ability to silence the alarm by waving a hand in front of it and the ability to detect carbon monoxide.


     

    It will make noise just like any other smoke detector.

  • Reply 4 of 21
    xzuxzu Posts: 139member

    Natural progression, they make a great thermostat... should make light switches and electrical receptacles, door bell/cameras.... many things should be integrated. Stop lallygagging Nest.

  • Reply 5 of 21
    Hope they consider including Apple's new iBeacon technology in both devices.
  • Reply 6 of 21
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Takeo View Post



    Would be nice if had a "cooking" mode to disable it for 30 minutes and automatically reactive afterwards... via an iPhone app of course. I have to get up on a ladder and pull the battery out of my smoke detector anytime I cook pan-fried fresh scallops (super hot oil in a heavy skillet). And yes, it's a so-called "kitchen" smoke detector... and it's not even in the kitchen... and I have a vent hood!!! Doesn't matter. Damn alarm goes of every time. So annoying.

    Don't you turn on your range hood or have something similar.  A "cooking" mode is just asking for trouble. Cooking is the leading cause of fires in the home.  Most never make beyond the pot but I'd rather not take the chance.

     

    Anyways does the smoke detector really need to be "smart?"

     

    Other than changing the battery once a year and hitting the test button. Its something that you don't interact with on a daily basis. 

     

    You hope never to even have your smoke detector do its job, as that means there is a probability something unpleasant has occurred.

  • Reply 7 of 21
    Originally Posted by ufwa View Post

    Don't you turn on your range hood or have something similar.  A "cooking" mode is just asking for trouble. Cooking is the leading cause of fires in the home.  Most never make beyond the pot but I'd rather not take the chance.

     

    If you walk away from your cooking and let it catch fire, that’s your problem. I shouldn’t have to deal with my smoke detectors behaving like hungry toddlers whenever I turn the oven on.

     

    Other than changing the battery once a year and hitting the test button.


     

    Once a year? Get yourself some’a’dem ten year ones with the built in battery.

  • Reply 8 of 21
    Kind of an odd choice, to me. I love my Nest, but I'd love to see the company branch into switches, lights and connected outlets first. Just my .02, they know their business better than I.
  • Reply 9 of 21
    rob53rob53 Posts: 2,465member
    Weird Tuesday with comments. A smoke detector would be a simple second device and could be monitored remotely, just like the thermostat (if desired). Both of these devices are/will be more expensive than regular ones and adding Nest switches, etc., would end up adding several thousand dollars for convenience automation to the housing bill. I like my thermostat and it helps. Not sure about a smoke detector.
  • Reply 10 of 21
    What message is it going to communicate to the Nest? There is a fire, turn the A/C down as low as it will go??
  • Reply 11 of 21

    Maybe the smoke has a motion sensor in it so if it detects motion, it knows you're in the room and doesn't need to alert you

  • Reply 12 of 21
    aplnubaplnub Posts: 2,605member
    Where does it get it's power? Most people don't have wired detectors. Solar?
  • Reply 13 of 21

    If it had a motion sensor, it could activate the light switches and electrical outlets. And turn them all off when you are not there.  That would save energy by deactivating "power brick" transformers on electrical appliances.

     

    It could also be a wifi range extender.

  • Reply 14 of 21
    I sure hope they make the hardware more robust with their smoke detector then they do with their thermostat. Based on their thermostat, I would not trust it to be safe.
  • Reply 15 of 21
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    My smoke/co2 detectors, bulk contractor version made by Kiddie,  are all wired together and connected to my alarm system. If a fire breaks out in the garage, all the alarms sound throughout the house. I can't imagine any other configuration. All are AC powered with battery backup. I don't have any detectors immediately in the kitchen but just a few feet awy in the hall. Never had an issue with cooking setting it off. Each bedroom has a detector to make sure no one is smoking, whatever,  in the house.

  • Reply 16 of 21
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Douglas Bailey View Post



    What message is it going to communicate to the Nest? There is a fire, turn the A/C down as low as it will go??

     

    Probably "turn off the HVAC" to prevent the fan from delivering extra oxygen (to slow the growth of a fire - particularly systems that have an air-to-air exchanger) and to keep the system from distributing smoke to other areas of the building (to slow the spread of smoke). Think about it: A fire will create heat which will result in a call for cooling. The HVAC fan kicks on and does nothing but help circulate smoke.

  • Reply 17 of 21

    This is going to hard sell.  A sensor laden Smoke Detector likely means that it's going to be 3-5x more expensive than your typical unit at Lowes or Home Despot (snicker). 

     

    Nest could add some nice integration with the Thermostat to get a more clear picture of movement through the home but pricing is going to be essential here since most homes have at least 5 detectors an few people are going to want to pay $250 to replace the current detectors. 

  • Reply 18 of 21
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    zroger73 wrote: »
    Probably "turn off the HVAC" to prevent the fan from delivering extra oxygen (to slow the growth of a fire - particularly systems that have an air-to-air exchanger) and to keep the system from distributing smoke to other areas of the building (to slow the spread of smoke). Think about it: A fire will create heat which will result in a call for cooling. The HVAC fan kicks on and does nothing but help circulate smoke.

    Good point. They'd need some features like that to justify the extra price.
  • Reply 19 of 21

    When you start adding features to something like a smoke detector, you quickly reach the point where a $300 fire panel and some low voltage wiring will do a better job of protecting you. 

     

    Do I want my smoke detector to text me at work to say my house might be burning down, or do I want a panel communicating with a central station who will dispatch the fire department in a matter of seconds? 

  • Reply 20 of 21

    I can see how this makes sense if they include an occupancy sensor and temperature sensor to tell the Nest thermostat if someone is home/away and also to get a remote temperature.  Possibly solar load (though that'd be tough being outside of direct sunlight).

     

    An interesting idea would be to include a multicolor strobe for "notifications".  Imagine a smart door bell causing the smoke alarm strobe and the nest display noting "someone at the front door".  If it's a powered smoke alarm then voice notifications as well ("Fire detected in upstairs bath!").

     

    That said I'm bit annoyed that they haven't opened up their API for 3rd party developers/other home automation integration.  It'd be nice to use this with Indigo (http://www.perceptiveautomation.com/indigo/index.html).

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