Nest, the company founded by former Apple iPod head Tony Fadell, unveiled their second product today, and it looks to reinvent the smoke detector the same way the Nest reinvented the thermostat. Meet ‘Protect.”
“Safety shouldn’t be annoying” is the slogan Nest is using for Protect, and that’s the design philosophy in a nutshell – smoke alarms too often go off when we burn something on the stove or start chirping in the middle of the night when batteries run low. Too often our solution is simply to disconnect the detector all together.
The aim of Protect is to make the smoke detector a more interactive and user friendly device. If you simply burned something on the stove, a quick wave at the Protect will silence the inevitable alarm. In addition to the alarm sound, Protect will also speak to you in a human voice. If you have more than one Nest Protect installed, they connect wirelessly to each other so they can speak at the same time, even if your Wi-Fi is down.
Protect also interacts with the Nest thermostat if you have one installed in your house. If Protect detects carbon monoxide, it quickly communicates with the Nest to turn off your furnace.
Of course there is an app that works with the Protect to supply status information from wherever you’re at. It even has an option for a nightlight.
The Protect comes in black or white, with wired or battery-powered versions available, and will run you $129. Pre-orders are now being accepted.
Thanks to Protect I may just be able to experience one Thanksgiving without seeing a member of my family standing on a step-ladder fanning the smoke detector, or removing the battery from it.
What do you think? Is this a good idea, or a solution looking for a problem? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.