Nest Labs is halting sales of its new Protect smoke detector after determining that one of its flagship features could accidentally delay its alarm from going off during a fire. 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.
"The best and safest thing to do is to immediately disable the Nest Wave feature."
All Protect smoke detectors that have already been sold will automatically update and deactivate the feature within 24 hours if they're connected to the internet, Nest says, otherwise, homeowners will have to connect and update it themselves. Nest is also offering refunds. "The fact that it could even potentially happen is extremely important to me and I want to address it immediately," Nest CEO Tony Fadell writes in a blog post. "We feel that the best and safest thing to do is to immediately disable the Nest Wave feature to resolve the issue and remove any safety concerns."
Nest says that fixing the problem and reactivating the feature could take two to three months, and that it'll have to receive approval from regulatory agencies in the US, Canada, and the UK before an update can be sent out. This is a big setback for Nest, which has been trying to prove that staid home technology can be brought into the modern age without issue. In this case, one of Protect's most high-tech features is the root of the problem — fortunately, Nest appears to have caught the issue before it became far bigger.