New smoke/CO detector is smart

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Friday, October 11, 2013

PAOLO ALTO, Calif.—Nest Protect, the smoke and carbon monoxide detector released Oct. 8 by Nest Labs, offers safety without annoyance, the company says.

Nest Protect speaks and gives users a vocal “heads up,” telling them what it detects before emitting an alarm, according to the company’s news release. It can be silenced with the wave of a hand and will send messages to integrated mobile devices to ask for new batteries.

“We’ve all experienced the smoke alarm going off while we’re cooking or searched for the source of that incessant low-battery chirp in the middle of the night,” said Tony Fadell, founder and CEO of Nest, in a prepared statement. Fadell, a former Apple executive, said those annoyances lead people to trust their alarms less, or turn them off to stop the noise.

The company says studies have shown children sleep through beeps, but wake up to the sound of voices, so Nest Protect features a female voice alarm to help wake sleeping children.

Nest Protect senses heat, carbon monoxide and smoke levels as they rise to offer early warnings. The device shows its sensors and batteries are working with a green glow when lights are turned off. Multiple devices in a single home connect, sending alarms throughout the house when problems are detected, according to the release.