Too-smart Nest smoke detectors back on the shelf

Google's Nest smoke detectors, which were too sensor-laden to work properly, are now back on the market.


Google's Nest smart smoke alarms, which had to be pulled from the shelves after sensors worked too well, are now back on sale at a lower price -- without the features that caused safety concerns.

"We're very pleased that Nest Protect is once again available to customers," Nest marketing chief Doug Sweeny said in a blog post. "And now, the price is $99 to make it accessible to as many people as possible."

The smart gadget, which is Web-connected and part of the Internet of Things (IoT) movement, combines a smoke detector and carbon monoxide monitor. Previously, the gadget cost $129, and could be controlled by hand gestures instead of users being required to get up close to the ceiling and punch buttons to control the smoke alarm.

However, the sensors worked too well -- and it was discovered that random hand gestures could accidentally turn the alarm's silent feature on.

An over-the-air patch was issued to existing models to disable the feature, but new alarms were also taken off the shelves by Nest until the software fix was applied.

Nest was acquired in January by Google for $3.2 billion. In addition to the smoke detector range, Nest also offers a smart thermostat which can be controlled through mobile devices.

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Image credit: Nest

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