Software, Hardware, Silverware

The Nest Protect

Nilay Patel got an early look at Nest’s new thermostat:

Tony asks me where my smoke alarm is and starts cackling when I tell him it’s sitting in a drawer, pulled off the ceiling because it inevitably goes off whenever my wife and I cook. “Every person I talk to has a story about how their smoke alarm went off or woke them up with a battery beeping,” he says. “So you take it off the wall and you take the battery out and say ‘screw this.’ They hate the products.”

It sounds like a great start. If I was a homeowner, I’d be tempted to replace all of my smoke detectors… Or maybe wait for version two:

But while multicolor LED tricks are nice, it feels like Nest is missing out on some easy wins by building a second, mostly independent product instead of an extension of the already-successful thermostat. Yes, the Protect can help make the thermostat’s auto-away features smarter, but it’s baffling that it doesn’t also send temperature data to improve its efficiency. A version with a camera seems like an easy home-security win. The average 1,500 square-foot home needs three to four smoke detectors, but adding more Protects — and therefore more sensors — to a system doesn’t have any immediately obvious ancillary benefits for Nest owners.