Science and Tech


Nest Announces Patch For Unintentional Alarm Dismissal

Nest's smoke and carbon monoxide alarm can be accidentally disabled. To remove the risk of missing an alarm, Nest is updating the feature.
Posted at 2:39 PM, Apr 04, 2014

Nest temporarily halted sales of its smart smoke detector Thursday, citing a flaw that could keep it from doing its job.

The detector uses a built-in "wave to dismiss" feature to shut off its alerts in case you simply burn the toast and need to reset its alarm.

Nest CEO Tony Fadell said in a blog post Nest Wave could accidentally dismiss alarms, raising the possibility of the detector not actually going off in the event of a fire or carbon monoxide leak.

"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."

Nest plans to disable the dismissal feature on networked Nest alarms within 24 hours. For those who can't make an Internet connection to shut off Nest Wave, Nest is offering a full refund.

And The Verge reports Nest has suspended sales of new units until the vulnerability is fixed.

"This is a big setback for Nest, which has been trying to prove that staid home technology can be brought into the modern age without issue. In this case, one of Protect's most high-tech features is the root of the problem."

It's safe to say broken safety equipment is never something a company wants to deal with. And that might be especially true for Nest, now that its smart thermostats and smoke detectors were acquired by Google in a $3.2 billion deal earlier this year. (Via CNET)

A fix for Nest Wave could take several months. It will require approval from federal safety regulators in the U.S., European Union and Canada.