Faulty Feature: Google Nest faces hiccups


Google acquisition Nest Labs, the maker of "smart thermostats," has hit a hiccup after it was forced to recall all of its smoke alarms on April 3 after discovering a defect that could see users turn off the alarms without intending. Google acquired the company for $3.2 billion and hopes that the new addition to the Google family will deliver safety inside homes.

But concerns were raised last month by users who had inadvertently disabled the alarm's "Nest Wave" feature that can switch off the device with only a hand wave. Nest co-founder and Chief Executive Tony Faddell said that the company is taking every effort to ensure the safety of its products and hopes that the situation will be under control in the near future to allow Google Nest to continue to provide home security solutions for people across the U.S. and the world.

Faddell, however, claims that no customer, despite the reports, has complained to the company and the recall is a preemptive measure.

"We observed a unique combination of circumstances that caused us to question whether the Nest Wave could be unintentionally activated. This could delay an alarm going off if there was a real fire," he said. "The fact that it could even potentially happen is extremely important to me and I want to address it immediately."

The company will immediately disable the Wave feature, which ironically had won the company acclaim, in every single one of its Wi-Fi-connected devices.

In San Francisco, the city's fire department has praised the move, saying it hopes that the company will rectify any problems with their products, which they believe will help to streamline safety and fire prevention and response.

"We are watching this situation closely and believe that Google and Nest will get to the bottom of any issue," said a fire department spokesman on Friday via telephone with Tech Times. "The product is a great innovation that if successful, could see a lot of damage, injuries and potential deaths avoided by being able to respond to fires quicker."

Google has not commented on Nest's recall, referring all media inquiries to Nest, which said it was inundated with questions, but would answer "all related concerns to the public and the media as they become available."

The Palo Alto-based company said that they plan on getting the product back out on the market as soon as possible once all issues pertaining to the accidental shut-off are solved.

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