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Nest's second-gen Protect is better at detecting fires

Jamie Rigg , @jmerigg
06.17.15
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Nest's Protect smart smoke and CO alarm has been getting better with age thanks to software updates, but now it's time for a hardware upgrade. Nest has just announced a brand new Nest Protect, with improvements in both the hardware and software department. For starters, it's loaded with what Nest call a "split-spectrum sensor," which is said to be better at detecting both fast-burning and slow-spreading fires than the photoelectric smoke detector the first-gen Protect uses. A new smoke chamber also greatly reduces the chance of false-positive alerts due to dust or bugs. Also, you can now test the device's speaker, horn and its sensors from within the companion app, as well as silence the smart smoke detector's screams from your smartphone when you burn your dinner.

Gallery: Nest second-gen Protect | 9 Photos

Furthermore, the new Protect has a longer lifespan than the previous generation: Nest says it'll last ten years as opposed to the predecessor's seven. In terms of aesthetics, the new Protect is 11 percent smaller, curvier and allegedly easier to mount on walls and ceilings thanks to a new backplate design. It also has a brighter "Pathlight," an LED ring that lights up when the Protect detects you passing by. Like the first-gen Protect, the refreshed version is launching with a $99 price tag (£89 in the UK) for both the wired and battery-powered models. It's available to order from today, with shipping starting next month.

With the launch of the second-gen Protect, Nest is also kicking off a program it calls "Safety Rewards" that could save you money on your home insurance premiums. The idea is you allow your Protect to send monthly reports to your insurance company with basic information like battery charge and WiFi connection strength, and earn discounts by simply having a Protect installed. Some insurance customers may even qualify for free or reduced hardware. Safety Rewards is starting out in the US with American Family and Liberty Mutual as launch partners.

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