A software glitch caused Nest smart thermostats around the world to shut off, leaving their owners at the mercy of the elements. The bug was shipped with a recent software update. It caused devices to drain their batteries, eventually shutting down and becoming totally unresponsive.
Users took to social media and Nest's support forums to voice their frustration.
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@nest very upset...just boarded a plane to go away for the winter in Florida and my nest in NJ is now offline.
Google-owned Nest quickly posted instructions on how to disconnect, recharge, reconnect and restart the thermostat. Of course, users who were at work or on vacation couldn't follow them, and faced the prospect of a home that may get hot enough to distress a pet, or cold enough to burst pipes.
I trust nest 2 keep my pipes from freezing @ 2nd home 450 miles from where I live; but nest is offline-hope my pipes don't burst #nest#fail
It's not nearly as fancy, sure, but there's no chance of a software glitch where there's no software.
Nest provided the following statement to NBC News:
"We are aware of a software bug impacting a small percentage of Nest Thermostat owners. In some cases, this caused the device to respond slowly or become unresponsive. We have released a software update that should improve this problem for the vast majority of impacted customers. On top of this, we are also planning additional fixes in the coming weeks to further improve performance."
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer at NBC News; he started his role in April of 2013. Coldewey is responsible for original reporting on a number of tech topics, such as photography, biotechnology, and Internet policy.
Coldewey joined NBCNews.com from TechCrunch, where he was an editor covering a similarly wide variety of content and industries. His personal website is coldewey.cc.