Friday, April 4, 2014

Nest Protect Smoke and CO Detector Bug

Nest has halted sales of the Nest Protect while they figure out a bug in their software. That sounds pretty bad.
The actual bug was in the "Wave to Silence" feature, which can quiet an alarm due to small amounts of smoke (like burning the toast) while you air out the room. Apparently the Nest lab guys were able to activate this feature in the lab without someone actually waving at the Nest Protect - I'm guess it's something like two dogs wrestling for an extended amount of time directly beneath a Nest Protect. This could delay, but not prevent, the sounding of the alarm in the case of an actual fire.

But honestly, I think Nest is handling this pretty well:

  • The bug was discovered in the test lab, not in consumer use.
  • Nest immediately sent out emails to everyone with a Nest Account.
  • Nest remotely disabled the "Wave to Silence" feature that was potentially affected by the bug.
  • Nest stopped the sale of Nest Protects until a software fix can be applied to all of them.
  • An over-the-air software update will (presumably) be forthcoming to fix the bug.

Nest turning off the "Wave to Silence" feature remotely is a good reminder of how much access I have granted to a few companies to our new house. But on the flip side, if a problem is discovered with the dumb smoke alarms we have supplementing the Nest Protects, I'm not sure how I would find out about the problem or any potential recall. Really, this has all been pretty convenient.

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