This past January, Google made headlines when it announced that it was picking up Nest Labs for a rather hefty $3.2 billion. Nest Labs, of course, is run by former Apple executive Tony Fadell and is well known for its Nest Thermostat and the more recently released Nest Protect smoke detector.
Nest has been highly praised for bringing some of that Silicon Valley ingenuity to old-fashioned and long ignored household items. But doing so isn't always without some speedbumps.
Case in point, Nest Labs last week announced that it was halting sales of the Nest Protect after discovering that one of the device's touted features could delay the actual smoke alarm from going off.
The feature, Nest Wave, allows homeowners to wave at the Protect to turn off its alarm, should it sound when there isn't actually an issue. Nest has now found that this feature could be unintentionally activated. It hasn't had any reports of this happening outside of a lab, but it's preemptively halting sales and deactivating the feature on existing units with the hope of avoiding it.
As for folks who already own the Nest Protect, Tony Fadell explained in a blogpost on the matter that a software update will disable the feature pending further investigation.
Once we have a solution that ensures Nest Wave works as intended, we will update our software to turn this feature back on. This will only happen after extensive testing and once we have received approval from safety agencies in the US, Canada and UK. We expect this to take at least two or three months and we’ll continue to update you as we have more information.