Nest — the smart-thermostat and fire-alarm-maker that Google bought this year for $US3.2 billion — just issued a safety warning asking that users disable a feature of their devices called Nest Wave, which allows them to turn off their alarm with a wave of their hand.
The company’s CEO, Tony Fadell, writes that recent testing showed that Nest Wave could be unintentionally activated, which could prevent the alarm going off in the case of a real fire. Apparently, no customers have complained about the issue yet, but Fadell also wrote that the company has stopped selling new Nest Protect alarms to make sure that no one buys an alarm that needs an immediate update. The company is also offering a complete refund for Nest Protect owners.
Here’s the full letter:
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.
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 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.
We’re enormously sorry for the inconvenience caused by this issue. The team and I are dedicated to ensuring that we can stand behind each Nest product that comes into your home, and your 100% satisfaction and safety are what motivates us. Please know that the entire Nest team and I are focused on fixing this problem and continuing to improve our current products in every way possible. If you don’t want to keep your Nest Protect smoke alarm, we will give you a complete refund.
Our customer support team is available to help answer any and all questions you have, and we’ve posted detailed answers to some of the questions we anticipate here.
Thank you for your continued loyalty and support.
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