October 8, 2013
Nest Launches Protect, A Savvy WiFi-Controlled Smoke Detector
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
In their ongoing effort to take over the “unloved products” in the home, Tony Fadell’s Nest has just announced their new carbon monoxide and smoke detector, Nest Protect. Rumors began to circulate about this impending product last month following a report from All Things D. For $129, The Nest Protect will connect with Nest’s other product, the WiFi-compatible thermostat. When connected together on the same WiFi network and user account, the thermostat and smoke detector work in concert to protect the home, specifically by turning off the furnace when high levels of carbon monoxide are detected in the home.
The Protect also offers a few other handy features to restore harmony between homeowners and their often obnoxious smoke detectors. Calling common smoke detectors devices that "cry wolf in the night," Nest Protect meets homeowners in the middle and calmly alerts them when there may be trouble in the home. For instance, regular detectors beep and chirp as their batteries begin to die, often in the middle of the night. Nest Protect features what they call "Heads Up" mode which sends an alert to the homeowners smartphone or tablet six and three months before the battery dies. This gives the owners ample time to replace the battery at their leisure, rather than waking up in the middle of the night to remove the batter from the detector and inevitably forget it again the next day.
Nest Protect will also be available in either a wired or battery-powered configuration, though wired units will come equipped with a backup battery in case of a power failure. Each Nest Protect unit will also be able to connect with others even if the WiFi connection goes down.
Heads Up mode also covers some of the more basic and everyday alerts. When dinner turns into a smoky mess, Nest Protect will alert users in a human, female voice. A motion detector in the unit allows homeowners to simply wave this alert away with their hands rather than climb on a step stool to press the tiny button found on most common detectors.
Each unit also knows in which room it’s been installed, so if smoke or carbon monoxide are detected in another part of the house, other units will issue the alert as well. These alerts can also be sent to a mobile device in the event a homeowner is entertaining guests outside or is otherwise away from their house.
Nest Protect also borrows a few features from the Nest Thermostat, including a feature called Auto-Away. This feature is used by the thermostat to monitor traffic in the home. If it doesn’t detect movement for some time, it will switch to 'away mode' and adjust the temperature according to the homeowner’s preset level. Nest says Protect will improve this feature by placing more units in more places. Nest claims Nest Protect will improve this feature by 50 percent when paired with the thermostat.
Nest Protect also borrows Pathlight from the thermostat, providing a soft white light at night when someone walks by. While the thermostat shines a light across a dark hallway, the Protect shines a light from the ceiling when a person walks by.
The new Nest Protect will be available next month and is now available for pre-order. The Protect will retail for $129 and is available in two colors, white and black.