Nest Halts Smoke Detector Sales

Nest Protect

The company that Google acquired for $3.2 billion says there's a flaw in its smoke detectors. Nest was worried that people would unintentionally activate a hand-waving feature and find the alarm not working during a fire

Nest Labs, the Silicon Valley darling that was recently acquired by Google, said Thursday that it was stopping sales of its smoke and carbon monoxide detectors over safety concerns.

CEO Tony Fadell posted a letter to Nest’s website that said the company is fixing a problem with the feature called Nest Wave, which allows people to wave their hands in front of the detector to temporarily disable the alarm. The company was worried that people would unintentionally activate the feature and find the alarm not working during a fire.

Nest has already remotely deactivated Nest Wave for all those who already have purchased the Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide alarm. Those detectors will continue to function.

The technical difficulty is a rare glitch for Nest. Google paid $3.2 billion to acquire the startup in January after it earned praise for its carefully designed products, which include both the smoke detector and a thermostat. Fadell previously worked at Apple on the iPod and iPhone. The Wave feature is just one of the many ways Nest is attempting to make mundane home devices more intuitive.

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