Sales of the Nest Protect smoke + carbon monoxide alarm have been suspended after laboratory testing surfaced that revealed the ‘wave’ feature could be unintentionally activated, resulting in the delay of an alarm if there was a real fire. The company has announced that all sales of the Nest Protect have been halted and have released a software update that disables the feature.
The Nest Protect was introduced last year as the follow-up smart home product to the hugely successful Nest Learning Thermostat. It too connects to the free iPhone app, which can alert you of low battery issues and you can check the status by opening up the app. The wave feature was touted as one of the differences between old legacy smoke alarms and this new age smoke detector. If there is smoke, the Nest uses voice alarms, “Heads up…“. If you wave your hand, you could ‘shush the alarm’. Having installed my Nest Protect near our kitchen, it’s been a feature that has proven useful on many occasions.
What this means to current Nest Protect owners
Presumably, your Nest Protect is connected to your WiFi network. If so, within 24 hours of the announcement (likely it’s already happened or will today), the wave feature will be automatically removed.
As the for the ‘wave’ feature, Nest provides us with this official statement:
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.
As for halting sales, this is to prevent new customers from needing an immediate software update. Considering WiFi setup is part of the initial setup process, this seems a bit surprising. However, where safety is concerned, the company is right to err on the side of caution.