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Nest’s Protect smart smoke and carbon monoxide detector just got a lot smarter.
Nest today announced the first major software update for the Protect and its accompanying app, which brings with it a slew of helpful new features (and some familiar features to owners of Nest’s smart thermostat).
So what’s changed? First off, the Nest app will finally show you a 10-day history of alarms from the Protect, which could be useful for pinpointing specific issues. You can also see the specific carbon monoxide level that triggers a CO alarm, which could let you know if you have a slight CO leak or something far worse.
Nest has also added a new “Steam Check” feature, which can halve the number of false alarms from the Protect. Steam is actually one of the most common causes of false smoke alarms, since it looks the same as smoke to detectors. Nest says the Protect’s humidity sensor and some new algorithms allow it to better tell the difference between smoke and steam (it won’t stop all false alarms, though).
Unfortunately, one feature that’s still missing is the wave gesture that the Protect launched with, which allowed you to quiet smoke alarms just by waving at the Protect. Issues with that feature ultimately led Nest to halt sales of the Protect and issue a software update that disabled it.
“The goal of the wave was really to silence alarms,” Maxime Veron, Nest’s director of product marketing, told VentureBeat. “What we’re doing here is we’re trying to get rid of nuisance alarms; we’re still working on making sure that we find the best way to use that [wave] gesture.”
The new Nest software also lets you control the levels of its Pathlight, which serves as a status indicator and a nightlight in the dark. The wired Nest Protect model can now keep its Pathlight on all the time.
Nine months after Google announced its $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest, the company has more than doubled its employees to over 700 workers while remaining independent. Veron stressed that it’s still not sharing any data with Google and “we still intend to keep doing that.”
Nest’s developer API program, which launched in June, is also seeing strong progress, Veron says. More than 3,000 developers have signed up for the program so far, and they’ve created more than 1,100 app integrations. The API gives developers selective control and data access for your Nest devices. Mercedes, for example, used the API to let its cars communicate when you’re heading home and signal to Nest to either warm up or cool down your house, depending on the weather.
“One thing we’re not doing on purpose is [using the API] to just be another remote control,” Veron says. “We are about creating magical interaction in the background.”
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