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Nest Protect smart smoke detector back on sale

Nest Protect

Nest removes wave to silence feature in response to accidental deactivations

The Nest Protect smoke detector is now available to buy again, more than three months after the company was forced to pull the gadget from shops following safety concerns over its “wave to silence” feature – with prices reduced to make up for the delay.

Nest Labs, the home automation company behind the Nest thermostat, expanded into smoke alarms in October last year, following months of consultation with fire safety and building regulation advisors. The Protect detector connects to your local Wi-Fi network and reports back to your smartphone, warning you with a notification if it detects smoke. A colour-changing LED and spoken word warnings are designed to eliminate the annoying chirps associated with traditional smoke detectors, but one feature proved more of a safety concern than helpful addition.

The “wave to silence” mode, which would deactivate the full alarm by waving your hands in front of the alarm rather than forcing you to reach for a tea towel, could be accidentally activated, causing the alarm to ignore an actual fire. A firmware update disabling the feature was rolled out to existing customers, but as a safety measure all unsold alarms were withdrawn from sale in order to deactivate the feature.

Now the company, which was purchased by Google in January for a massive $3.2 billion, is confident the issue has been resolved and has returned the alarm to its online store. Both the wired and wireless versions of the Nest Protect smoke detector are now available for £89 in black or white colours, some £20 less than the original price – although still as expensive as buying a standard smoke alarm for almost every room in your house.

Although Nest Protect is now available through the official Nest UK website, it has yet to appear in Google’s own Play store.

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