updated 08:00 pm EDT, Thu April 3, 2014
Alarm could be accidentally disabled by motion, now disabled in existing units
Ahead of any reported problems among existing users, Nest is voluntarily halting sales of its Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm due to potential issues with one of the features. In addition, the company will be remotely disabling the Nest Wave feature in existing units, which allowed users to turn off alarms by simply waving their hands at the unit. Internal company testing had shown that the feature could in some circumstances disable the alarms unintentionally, which might delay an alarm in the event of a real fire.
The news came in a letter from the CEO published on the web and being sent to Nest Protect customers, which explains the issue and apologizes for any inconvenience. The company plans to fix the problem over the next two or three months, and then reactivate the feature (or replace existing units if the problem cannot be fixed in software). Existing units in place and connected to Wi-Fi networks will have the Wave feature silently disabled sometime over the course of the next 24 hours.
Units that haven't been connected to Wi-Fi yet should be connected so as to receive the update. Customers who do not have or won't install Wi-Fi are asked to contact Next to arrange a refund on the device. Nest was recently purchased by Google for $3.2 billion, angering some customers.