Gosh, we were really excited to tell you what Nest's latest product is (we really didn't think you were going to guess), but then someone had to go and spoil the surprise. At any rate, the news is now official: Nest is indeed coming out with a smoke / carbon monoxide detector and yes, the product is called "Protect." As you can see in the photo above, Nest is trying to do for smoke detectors what it's already done for thermostats. Which is to say, it's trying to take a mundane household object and make it sexy. Well, sexy and smart. It wouldn't be a Nest device if it didn't have WiFi built in, allowing you to control the settings and check the battery life using a mobile app (it's available for iOS, with Android versions in both Google Play and the Kindle App Store). Also, the WiFi connection allows one Protect to talk to another. In the event of an emergency, all of the Protects in the house will go off, using a female speaking voice to let you know there's a fire or CO.
But wait a second, what if there's no emergency? What if you just slightly burned your artisinal grilled cheese? In low-threat situations like this, Protect will warn you that it senses smoke, and then give you a chance to wave away the alert with your hand -- yep, the same way you'd wave away smoke itself. As you'd expect, the grace period depends on the urgency of the situation: if you've just been cooking dinner, you might be able to wave away the alert before the alarm goes off, but if there really is fire, you understandably won't get the luxury of a warning. Meanwhile, on the back end, the Protect can work in tandem with a Nest thermostat, so that if the Protect detects carbon monoxide, Nest will shut your heat off (many CO leaks are related to heating).
Gallery: Nest Protect | 22 Photos
Gallery: Nest Protect | 22 Photos
In addition to being a proper smoke and carbon monoxide detector, the Protect also acts as a night light of sorts: it has a motion sensor that allows it to glow briefly when you pass by in the middle of the night. What's nice, too, is that although you might want this feature while making your way to the bathroom, that pathlight is actually disabled by default in bedrooms, so you don't have to worry about waking your partner. (When you set up the Protect, you specify what room of the house you'll be using it in.) As for battery life, it's said to last for years at a time, though Nest isn't making any specific claims beyond that. Once this ships in a few weeks, you'll be able to buy a version that takes six AAs or a different one that's powered by a 120-volt wired connection. Either way, it costs $129, and will be sold in the US, UK and Canada, with white and black color options.
Nest Protect: The Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm Reinvented
Safety Shouldn't Be Annoying, Nest Protect Addresses Nuisance Alarms and Low-Battery Chirps to Help Keep Families Safe
Nest Labs Expands to the United Kingdom
Palo Alto, Calif. – Oct. 8, 2013 – Nest Labs, Inc. (www.nest.com) announced today breakthrough innovation that redefines what people should expect from their smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. These products should keep us safe, not annoy us. Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide™ does much more than just sound a shrill alarm when there's danger in your home. It speaks to you, telling you where the danger is and what the problem is. And before it sounds a piercing alarm, Nest Protect gives you a friendly Heads-Up warning that you can silence with a wave of your hand – no more swinging towels or brooms to try to quiet a false alarm. It integrates with your mobile devices and even messages you if the batteries run low, avoiding that all-too-familiar midnight low-battery chirp.
"With our first product, the Nest Learning Thermostat, we set out to help people reduce home energy use," said Tony Fadell, Nest founder and chief executive officer. "Now, we're turning our attention to something that's also important: keeping families safe in their homes. We've all experienced the smoke alarm going off while we're cooking or searched for the source of that incessant low-battery chirp in the middle of the night. Every time a smoke alarm cries wolf, we trust it a little less, and then – in a moment of frustration – we rip the batteries out to stop the beeping. And that leaves us and our families at risk."
According to a study by the National Fire Protection Agency of smoke alarms that failed to activate during home fires, 73 percent of them had dead, missing or disconnected batteries. Nuisance alarms were the leading reason for disconnected smoke alarms.
"Safety shouldn't be annoying," said Matt Rogers, Nest founder and vice president of engineering. "It was unacceptable to us that almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. These products are required by law and are supposed to keep us safe, yet people hate them. We wanted to change that, so we created Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide."
• High-quality smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. Nest Protect is a multi-criteria detector with heat, CO, and smoke sensors that work together to detect danger.
• Heads-Up. If Nest Protect sees that smoke or CO levels are rising but have not yet reached emergency alarm levels, it will give you an early warning so it can avoid crying wolf.
• Nest Wave. No need to wave towels or climb on chairs. Nest Protect lets you silence nuisance alarms with a wave of your hand.
• Mobile notifications. Connect Nest Protect to your free Nest account using Wi-Fi and you can receive low-battery alerts, Heads Up and emergency alarm notifications on your smartphone or tablet. In an emergency, the What to Do feature will remind you of recommended actions and give you one-button access to an emergency phone number.
• Nightly Promise. Sleep safe and sound. Before you doze off, Nest Protect shows you its sensors and batteries are working with a quick green glow after you turn off the lights so low-battery chirps don't rattle your dreams.
• Pathlight. Nest Protect offers more than just smoke and CO warnings. Its LED lights can be a night light in your home. When it's dark, Nest Protect will light your way as you walk underneath it.
• Vocal alarms. According to a study by Victoria University, children can sleep through beeping smoke alarms. So in addition to alarm sounds, Nest Protect uses female Voice Alarms to help wake sleeping children in case of emergency.
• More sensors, more features. Nest Protect's sensors include a photoelectric smoke sensor, CO sensor, heat sensor, light sensor, ultrasonic sensors and activity sensor. Together, they analyze smoke and CO levels, see when you wave, and light your way at night.
• Wireless interconnect. If you have more than one Nest Protect, they connect so you'll hear alarms from all Nest Protects in your home, even if the danger is in only one room.
• Design. Nest Protect introduces a distinctive square shape with a white sunflower pattern. A black version will be available only at www.nest.com.
• Multiple languages. In the U.S., Nest Protect offers voice alerts in both English and Spanish. Simply select your preferred language during setup.
For families that have both the Nest Learning Thermostat and Nest Protect, a free Nest user account allows the products to work together. If Nest Protect's carbon monoxide alarm goes off, your Nest thermostat automatically turns off your gas furnace, a possible source of poisonous carbon monoxide leaks. In addition, the Nest Protect activity sensors improve the Auto-Away feature of your Nest thermostat.
New Nest App
The Nest app on iOS, Android and the Web can be used to set up, control, and get alerts for both Nest Protect and the Nest Learning Thermostat. Available in English, Spanish and French, the Nest app will be updated with a new design and new features when Nest Protect ships.
Pricing and Availability
Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide is expected to be on sale in November at Amazon, Apple, Best Buy and The Home Depot for a suggested retail price of $129.00 (U.S.). It will be available in two versions – wired (120V) and battery-powered – and in two colors: white and black. To be first to experience the benefits of Nest Protect, go to www.nest.com to reserve yours today. A version of Nest Protect that will be compatible with wired security systems is expected to be available in early 2014. Nest Protect will also be available in Canada and the U.K.
Nest reinvents unloved but important home products, like the thermostat and smoke alarm. The company focuses on delighting customers with simple, beautiful and thoughtful hardware, software and services. The Nest Learning Thermostat™ and Nest Energy Services offerings address home energy consumption, and Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide™ will help keep people safe. Nest products are sold in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, and are installed in more than 90 countries and the Nest Learning Thermostat has helped save more than 1,000,000,000 kWh of energy to date. Nest is privately funded and based in Palo Alto, Calif. For more information, visit www.nest.com.