Nest's Protect smoke detector warns you before it's about to go off; coming soon for $129
Very interested to see this product. I loathe the current lineup of smoke detectors. I also really hope that the wired version includes a capacitor backup. Seriously, why are we still stuck with replacing batteries for a backup? It only needs to operate for a few minutes of beeping and a capacitor can do that easily.Nest is indeed coming out with a smoke / carbon monoxide detector and yes, the product is called "Protect." As you can see in the photo above, Nest is trying to do for smoke detectors what it's already done for thermostats. Which is to say, it's trying to take a mundane household object and make it sexy. Well, sexy and smart. It wouldn't be a Nest device if it didn't have WiFi built in, allowing you to control the settings and check the battery life using a mobile app (it's available for iOS, with Android versions in both Google Play and the Kindle App Store). Also, the WiFi connection allows one Protect to talk to another. In the event of an emergency, all of the Protects in the house will go off, using a female speaking voice to let you know there's a fire or CO.
But wait a second, what if there's no emergency? What if you just slightly burned your artisinal grilled cheese? In low-threat situations like this, Protect will warn you that it senses smoke, and then give you a chance to wave away the alert with your hand -- yep, the same way you'd wave away smoke itself. As you'd expect, the grace period depends on the urgency of the situation: if you've just been cooking dinner, you might be able to wave away the alert before the alarm goes off, but if there really is fire, you understandably won't get the luxury of a warning. Meanwhile, on the back end, the Protect can work in tandem with a Nest thermostat, so that if the Protect detects carbon monoxide, Nest will shut your heat off (many CO leaks are related to heating).