Nest Halts Sales of 'Protect' Smoke Detector After Flaw Found


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Nest, maker of connected home appliances, has halted sales of its Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector due to a flaw that could cause it to be unintentionally disabled.

The "Nest Wave" feature allowed users to silence the Protect's alarm by standing under it and waving — rather than having to fetch a stepladder in order to reach the ceiling-mounted device.

This graphic from Nest illustrates how the Wave function works.Nest

But according to a letter posted by Nest's CEO, Tony Fadell, it might be possible that this could lead to accidental deactivation:

"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."

He stressed that no customers had reported this happening, however, and otherwise the device is perfectly effective. But the company has decided to halt sales while it figures out what to do.

It's not a product recall; if you have a Protect, the Wave feature should be automatically disabled if the device is connected to a Nest account over Wi-Fi. If it's not connected, you can still disable Wave using the app on your phone (instructions here). And if you can't connect your Protect to the Internet for some reason or another, you can ask for a refund.

The company, which was purchased by Google in January for $3.2 billion, declined to elaborate on how long sales would be stopped when asked by NBC News. If you were looking to buy a Protect, keep an eye on Nest's website, which will update when it is available again.