Nest suspends sales of Protect smoke & carbon monoxide alarm over safety concerns

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 2014
Google-owned smart home firm Nest announced on Thursday that it has suspended sales of the Protect Smoke + CO Alarm after discovering one of the product's built-in convenience features poses a potential safety risk.




In a letter posted to Nest's website, cofounder and ex-Apple executive Tony Fadell said Protect's "Nest Wave" function, which turns the alarm off with a wave of the hand, may be unintentionally activated. If this were to happen, an alert could be delayed in the case of a real fire.

From Fadell's statement:
We identified 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.
Effective immediately, Nest Wave has been automatically deactivated on Protect units connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi. Owners are urged to turn on Protect's Wi-Fi function so their unit can receive the update.

In addition, the company has halted all new Protect device sales while a resolution to the problem is sorted out. Nest is offering full refunds for new owners who do not have Wi-Fi connectivity to properly update the product.

Fadell's Nest Labs was recently acquired by Google for $3.2 billion, though the Internet search giant said the smarthome product firm's operations would remain largely independent.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 67
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,345member
    No fucking shit sherlock. As soon as I heard of this feature I thought of this possibility. The most important thing about a smoke alarm is that it goes off when it needs to. Making it needlessly complex is ridiculous. And this is the company people said Apple should have bought? Right.
  • Reply 2 of 67
    disturbiadisturbia Posts: 563member

    ".......which turns the alarm off with a wave of the hand....."

    .

    .

    .

    "From Fadell's statement:

    We identified this problem ourselves and are not aware of any customers who have experienced this....except this idiot!!

     

  • Reply 3 of 67
    red oakred oak Posts: 929member
    LOL. $3,200,000,000

    This is what happens when shareholders have no voting rights. And it is going to get much, much worse
  • Reply 4 of 67
    phone-ui-guyphone-ui-guy Posts: 1,019member
    slurpy wrote: »
    No fucking shit sherlock. As soon as I heard of this feature I thought of this possibility. The most important thing about a smoke alarm is that it goes off when it needs to. Making it needlessly complex is ridiculous. And this is the company people said Apple should have bought? Right.

    What is dumb is how easy the logic would be to ensure this didn't happen. Basically any trigger must sound for a minimum time before you could allow it to be waved off. If it had not gone off, it shouldn't be suppressing the alarm at all regardless of a possible wave detection. Shouldn't let a stupid feature make it not safe.
  • Reply 5 of 67
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    slurpy wrote: »
    No fucking shit sherlock. As soon as I heard of this feature I thought of this possibility. The most important thing about a smoke alarm is that it goes off when it needs to. Making it needlessly complex is ridiculous. And this is the company people said Apple should have bought? Right.
    Haters often claim that Apple's products only sell well because of sleek design and/or marketing. If the Nest thermostat and smoke detector aesthetically looked like most thermostats/smoke detectors would the tech media be drooling all over them? And didn't someone file a lawsuit claiming the energy savings weren't anything close to what was promised?
  • Reply 6 of 67
    timmymantimmyman Posts: 31member
    rogifan wrote: »
    Haters often claim that Apple's products only sell well because of sleek design and/or marketing. If the Nest thermostat and smoke detector aesthetically looked like most thermostats/smoke detectors would the tech media be drooling all over them? And didn't someone file a lawsuit claiming the energy savings weren't anything close to what was promised?

    With it being even more silly since Nest didn't even design it themselves. They got a third-party firm to do it.
  • Reply 7 of 67
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    What is dumb is how easy the logic would be to ensure this didn't happen. Basically any trigger must sound for a minimum time before you could allow it to be waved off. If it had not gone off, it shouldn't be suppressing the alarm at all regardless of a possible wave detection. Shouldn't let a stupid feature make it not safe.

    1) I'm not sure Wave will ever be good. Perhaps a physical button -and- access via an app will be enough.

    2) I think the Nest Thermostat is great but I was never sold on Nest Protect at any price because what I've been lead to believe are differences in how the effectiveness of the smoke and CO detectors decrease over time, and at different rates. If these sensors were swappable (like a carbon water filter) and the Protect would alert you when it was time (like print SW with printer cartridges) I could get behind that.
  • Reply 8 of 67
    A safety alarm with an off switch which can be accidentally and silently triggered.
    Sounds like a winner. :D
  • Reply 9 of 67
    bregaladbregalad Posts: 816member
    No problem Google, I already suspended purchase of Nest products over cost and privacy concerns.
  • Reply 10 of 67
    timmymantimmyman Posts: 31member
    rogifan wrote: »
    Haters often claim that Apple's products only sell well because of sleek design and/or marketing. If the Nest thermostat and smoke detector aesthetically looked like most thermostats/smoke detectors would the tech media be drooling all over them? And didn't someone file a lawsuit claiming the energy savings weren't anything close to what was promised?

    And it's even more silly since Nest didn't even design it themselves. They had a third-party do the design work for them.
  • Reply 11 of 67
    redhotfuzzredhotfuzz Posts: 307member

    "Please return your Protect product to Nest so we can fix the safety issue (install a Google tracking camera)."

  • Reply 12 of 67
    bulk001bulk001 Posts: 685member
    Unlike GM they have done the right thing and immediately worked to correct the problem. Rather than taking cheap shots at them I commend them for not putting people's safety over profit or reputation.
  • Reply 13 of 67
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 13,001member
    bulk001 wrote: »
    Unlike GM they have done the right thing and immediately worked to correct the problem. Rather than taking cheap shots at them I commend them for not putting people's safety over profit or reputation.

    Let's just compare a car to a CO/smoke detector.
  • Reply 14 of 67
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 5,939member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    Effective immediately, Nest Wave has been automatically deactivated on Protect units connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi. Owners are urged to turn on Protect's Wi-Fi function so their unit can receive the update.

     



    Welcome to the new world order where companies can essentially enter your house through your Internet connection and update / deactivate / modify features on your products without your knowledge.



    Thank you, but no thank you.  This "feature" had trouble written all over it.  I wonder if that $3B+ is still burning a hole in Google's pockets.

  • Reply 15 of 67
    bulk001bulk001 Posts: 685member
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    Let's just compare a car to a CO/smoke detector.
    I did just make a comparison but you seem to need some help so I will spell it out to you. It wasn't comparing a car and a smoke detector. It was comparing a $0.57 repair in a GM's cars starter that resulted in 13 know deaths to a vulnerability in a smoke detector that could also result in death. GM the company did nothing even though they have known about the issue since 2004, threatened financial ruin to those who wanted to take them to court and used US bankruptcy laws to absolve them of any liability. Nest has immediately come out and made people aware of the issue and is working to repair it or make people who did buy it whole. I commend nest for doing the right thing.
  • Reply 16 of 67
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,702member
    'We will recall all units and replace the wave sensor with a camera which will identify all users (and friends and family). By identifying our user's daily habits and routines we will improve our ability to ascertain whether the house / apartment is actually burning'
  • Reply 17 of 67
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member

    Hoo-boy.

  • Reply 18 of 67
    slurpy wrote: »
    No fucking shit sherlock. As soon as I heard of this feature I thought of this possibility. The most important thing about a smoke alarm is that it goes off when it needs to. Making it needlessly complex is ridiculous. And this is the company people said Apple should have bought? Right.

    To all the people hating on this product because it's so "obvious" that an alarm should not have a silencing function...be aware that the original intent was to combat the "crying wolf" effect of overly annoying, hard-to-silence alarms. It's even more useless if people take the batteries out when they're cooking and leave it sitting in the junk drawer.

    Obviously the implementation needs tweaking, but it's a great idea to reduce the signal-to-noise ratio. My condo's fire alarm goes off so frequently, we usually just put on our shoes and plug our ears.
  • Reply 19 of 67

    They should turn off the Snooze function as well.

  • Reply 20 of 67
    mistercowmistercow Posts: 157member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post



    LOL. $3,200,000,000



    This is what happens when shareholders have no voting rights. And it is going to get much, much worse

     

    Kind of like using an aluminum band on a phone when you are explicitly told it interferes with reception.  

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