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Google’s Nest Labs Halts Production Of Smoke Alarm UPDATE

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Google's Nest Labs Halts Production Of Smoke Alarm Over Safety Fears
Google's Nest Labs Halts Production Of Smoke Alarm Over Safety Fears

Google’s Nest Labs Halts Production Of Smoke Alarm Over Safety Fears

Google’s New Billion Dollar Acquisition Issues Product Safety Warning

Google surely didn’t expect to see their $3.2 billion investment in the smart appliance maker Nest Labs get off to a rough start. Nest Labs makes smoke alarms and thermostats that are Wi-Fi enabled, contain adaptive self-learning technology, and sensor driven devices. The acquisition announcement Google made on January 13 of this year is designed to enable Google to make new inroads in smart technology.

However, Nest Labs has issued a product safety warning to users of their Nest Protect smoke alarms to disable the “Nest Wave” feature. This is a characteristic of the smart alarms that allows them to be engaged or disengaged by a simple hand motion. As per Nest Lab CEO Tony Fadell there is a possibility that the smoke alarm can be accidentally activated so that it does not engage during an actual fire.

“We observed a unique combination of circumstances that caused us to question whether the Nest Wave (a feature that enables you to turn off your alarm with a wave of the hand) could be unintentionally activated,” says Tony Fadell, the company’s chief executive, in a letter on the company website. “This could delay an alarm going off if there was a real fire.”

Customers who have already purchased the Nest Protect can obtain a full refund if they desire. The company has also pulled the product from distribution so to avoid the possibility that anyone buy it in a less than fully functional condition. It should be noted that no one has reported an incident of the smoke alarm failing to alert them of a fire.

CEO Fadell issued an open letter to customers reaffirming that he and Nest Labs values their need for safety. He informed customers that it was Nest Labs that discovered the potential glitch in the “Nest Wave” feature which came about during their ongoing product safety tests. Despite the fact that there were no customer complaints about problems with the smart smoke alarm, the company decided it was in the best interest of their customers to voluntarily withdraw the product and offer existing users a full refund. Nest Labs is a relatively new company having started in 2010.

Read the full statement from the company below:

To the Nest community:

Since introducing the Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide alarm, we’ve heard touching stories from many of you about how we’ve helped keep you and your families safe. I consider your safety a huge part of my job and it’s something I think about and take pride in every day.

At Nest, we conduct regular, rigorous tests to ensure that our products are the highest quality. During recent laboratory testing of the Nest Protect smoke alarm, we observed a unique combination of circumstances that caused us to question whether the Nest Wave (a feature that enables you to turn off your alarm with a wave of the hand) could be unintentionally activated. This could delay an alarm going off if there was a real fire. We identified this problem ourselves and are not aware of any customers who have experienced this, but the fact that it could even potentially happen is extremely important to me and I want to address it immediately.

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. While we fix Nest Wave, we have also halted sales of all new Nest Protect alarms to ensure no one buys an alarm that needs an immediate update

Source:
http://www.businessinsider.com/nest-smoke-detector-safety-warning-2014-4

Nest halts sales of Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm on safety fears
http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/apr/04/nest-halts-sales-of-protect-smoke-and-carbon-monoxide-alarm-on-safety-fears