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Nest Issues Software Fix for Recalled "Smart" Smoke Alarm

That whole "wave your arms like you just don't care" thing has proved buggy for Nest.

Nest Protect users are being told to update their “smart” smoke detectors, due to a software feature that has been deemed potentially dangerous.

Nest first acknowledged the issue in a statement from CEO Tony Fadell last month. Now the Consumer Product Safety Commission has piled on, with a recall of 440,000 units.

The CPSC says that Nest Protect, the company’s $129 Internet-connected smoke and carbon monoxide detection system, has a “Nest Wave” feature that could result in silenced alarms in the event of an actual emergency. The feature lets users silence the detector by waving their arms near the unit (a nifty idea in theory, because who hasn’t stood on a chair trying to silence a beeping smoke detector?).

The CPSC report notes that “Nest Labs has received no reports of incidents, injuries or property damage.”

Regardless, the Nest Wave feature is now being disabled. Nest customers are being told to connect their Nests to the Internet, if they haven’t already done so, and confirm receipt of an update that will gray out the Nest Wave option. As long as the device is updated via Wi-Fi, it does not need to be sent back to the manufacturer.

Nest Labs, which was acquired by Google in February for $3.2 billion dollars, has emphasized that the CSPC’s report is a follow-up to the same issue Nest reported earlier. The company has been working with the CPSC on the fix and says that even with the Wave feature disabled, “the Nest Protect Alarm will continue to perform its essential safety functions, monitoring for increased levels of smoke and CO, and alerting users via local alarms and Nest app alerts (if set up).”

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