Back in October, the uber-popular Nest announced plans to add to its product lineup. The company introduced the Nest Protect, a combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector that could integrate with the Nest Learning Thermostat.
It also had some other cool features—and at least one that apparently wasn’t very well-thought-out. Nest CEO Tony Fadell has issued a statement saying that the company would be halting the sale of the Nest Protect, due to its innovative “Wave” feature.
The Wave feature makes the system easy to disarm with a wave of the hand. This is great for cooking mishaps, but not so great in the event of an actual emergency. Fadell’s message said:
“At Nest, we conduct regular, rigorous tests to ensure that our products are the highest quality. During recent laboratory testing of the Nest Protect smoke alarm, we observed a unique combination of circumstances that caused us to question whether the Nest Wave (a feature that enables you to turn off your alarm with a wave of the hand) could be unintentionally activated. This could delay an alarm going off if there was a real fire.”
It’s important to note that Nest is being proactive about this. “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,” Fadell also said.
Nest plans to issue a software update to existing owners, which would disable the Wave feature. The company is also halting any further sales of the product, “to ensure no one buys an alarm that needs an immediate update.”
If you currently own the Nest Protect, make sure that the product is connected to Wi-Fi, as well as your Nest account. You won’t need to do anything else; the company will automatically disable the Nest Wave feature. If you can’t connect your Nest Protect to your Wi-Fi setup, the company asks that you discontinue use of the product and contact Nest immediately for a full refund.
The company hopes to add the feature back in at some point, but says it could take two to three months of tweaking and testing.
In January 2014, Nest Labs was acquired by Google for $3.2 billion in cash.
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Over the past 15 years, Rachel Cericola has covered entertainment, web and technology trends. Check her out at www.rachelcericola.com.