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Unread 2013-10-08, 09:49 PM   #1
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Default NEST Protect

Nest Protect hands-on: Wi-Fi, app-powered smoke detector rethinks home safety for $129 price







The Nest Protect is a Wi-Fi smoke detector. Let's say that again: a Wi-Fi smoke detector and carbon monoxide monitor, and it costs $129 (available for pre-order starting today). Sound crazy? Maybe not.
Nest's modus operandi is to reimagine the boring, annoying, or dysfunctional white-label products around your house. Two years ago, the startup sucessfully tackled the thermostat and upended the industry with a model that programs itself by tracking your family's patterns. Today, Nest intends to replace the obnoxious, ugly, batteries-constantly-dying, wall-wart smoke detectors with a model that talks to other smoke detectors, communicates with your thermostat, and avoids blaring a siren unless the situation is truly dire.
The Nest Protect looks smoother and squarer than traditional smoke detectors.
(Credit: Lindsey Turrentine/CNET)
The opportunity to improve the smoke detector's value proposition is obvious when you think about it: today's smoke detectors chirp obnoxiously when batteries run low, and they don't shut off until you jab them with a broom handle, even when the only imminent danger is the steam from your shower. Some studies show that no matter how loud a smoke detector's wail, children sleep right through them and an alarm with a parent's voice is more effective.
What the Nest Protect does
I spent some time with a demo model of the Nest Protect -- enough to get a sense for how it fits into the home, what makes it different, and why you might want a Wi-Fi smoke detector. (Nest is still working with Underwriters Laboratories to certify the Nest Protect, however, so I won't be able to formally test the device for a few weeks. I'll update this First Take with a rated review when I get my hands on a test unit.)
Nest Protect looks unlike any other smoke detector (pictures)

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For $129 for each unit, you'd expect this smoke detector to make you a cup of coffee while protecting your family. It doesn't, and there are other wireless, networked combination smoke-and-carbon monoxide detectors on the market for as little as $65. but the Nest Protect solves a few problems you might not realize you have with your current detectors.
For starters, both the hardwired and the wireless model (both $129) come with Wi-Fi baked in. The Wi-Fi functionality lets the units communicate with each other so that no matter where you are in your house, you'll know when there's something bad in the air elsewhere in the building. For example, your kitchen Nest Protect may sense smoke from burning toast, but you'll hear about it from the Nest Protect in your den, which will tell you that there's smoke in the kitchen. Once the smoke dies down, the den unit will tell you that the kitchen is all clear. Think of the Nest Protect as the Sonos of smoke detectors.
The Nest Protect changes color to indicate its alert level. (Click to enlarge.)
(Credit: Lindsey Turrentine/CNET)
When an alarm first sounds, Nest actually speaks to tell you that smoke or carbon monoxide may be gathering. The Nest Protect's voice sounds pleasant -- like a (rare) mother who got a full night of sleep or maybe the announcer on a Virgin America preflight safety video. She'll tell you that there's a problem or that the emergency is over.
Nest put sensors galore into these machines to make all these features possible. With smoke, heat, humidity, motion, carbon monoxide, and ultrasonic sensors onboard, the Nest Protect eases common annoyances. You can wave at the device to stop its alarm, for one, instead of pushing a faraway button. At night, the motion sensor detects movement to turn on a pale nightlight to help you navigate your house in the dark.


If you've already gone all-in on Nest and own a Nest Thermostat, the smoke detectors serve a secondary purpose: they act as sentinels around your house to tell your thermostat when you're still home even if you haven't passed by a thermostat for a while. This would keep your thermostat from putting itself in Away mode because it thinks you've left the house.
I wouldn't buy a Nest Protect for its ability to trigger my thermostat, but it's a nice extra that hints at possible futures for Nest as a company. The more rooms in a house with Nest-powered sensors, the more devices could eventually speak to one another and to a Nest app, from security cameras to remote locks to light bulbs. (Whether that's a future you want is up to your appetite for home automation dominated by a single brand.)
The yellow light indicates a warning.
(Credit: Lindsey Turrentine/CNET)
How the Nest Protect looks
At first glance, the Nest Protect looks nothing like you might expect. For starters, it's square and comes in white or black -- quite unlike the round, silver Nest thermostat. According to Nest, the square shape sets this device apart from its old-fashioned competition, and the lacy, flower-like design of the top panel gives more points for smoke and particulate to enter and trigger the alarm. Regardless, this is the prettiest smoke detector you'll find.
A ring around the Nest Protect's center button illuminates gently to communicate various states: light blue for setup, yellow to warn you before there's an emergency, red in a full-blown emergency, and green to let you know when everything's OK. The green light every night tells you that the device has monitored its surroundings and that everything is OK. The nightlight function emits a light, pleasant blue-white glow. In the center of the smoke detector, a button serves a dual hush/reset function.
First smoke detector with an app
Sometime later this month, Nest will push its existing app -- the Android and iOS app that currently interacts with the Nest Learning Thermostat -- to version 4.0 with a new, flatter design and compatibility with Nest Protect. When that happens, the single Nest app will be the first ever to work with a smoke detector. Once Nest Protect devices ship, they'll send notifications to your app to let you know when everything is normal in your house and to send alerts when your detectors find smoke or other dangers. If you have a Nest thermostat, the app will even let you turn off your boiler from afar when the detector senses carbon monoxide in the house.
We will see when test units arrive whether Nest Protect's app link, beauty, and superior communication skills make it worth its premium price considering the $500-$650 investment to outfit a three-bedroom home with the appropriate 4 or 5 devices. As part of a larger remodel or retrofit, the price may well make sense if it better protects your family. Stay tuned to find out.
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Unread 2013-10-08, 10:52 PM   #2
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Unread 2013-11-29, 11:34 AM   #3
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First Alert sues Nest over smoke detector patents on voice alerts and vents

It's déjà vu in the home utilities world






As Nest prepares to ship its Protect smart smoke detector, it's been hit with a patent lawsuit from one of its competitors. BRK, which sells the First Alert line of smoke detectors to consumers, construction companies, and manufacturers, has asked a court to stop Nest from selling the Protect and require it to pay triple the damages BRK has suffered from allegedly having a series of patents copied by Nest. The features in question are some of the ones Nest has touted as welcome improvements to existing smoke detectors: a voice that will tell owners where it's found smoke and a set of sensitive vents that sit around the rear of the Protect.
"Nest's current marketing campaign incredibly attempts to take credit for Dr. Morris' and BRK's innovations."
The location warning system, BRK says, was laid out in a series of patents that cover using pre-recorded voice alerts to "describe the type of environmental condition detected or the location" of the detector that senses it. That "exclusive" technology was first used in a 2003 smoke detector, and the company says it's sold 1.8 million units with voice and location alarm systems since then. The Protect's rear vents, meanwhile, allegedly infringe on another patent for putting sensors near the mounting surface of a smoke detector. Both features were advertised on BRK's packaging, and the company says that BRK's success has been "a direct result of its innovations;" by extension, Nest's use of them would erode its own position in the market.
As the quote above hints, BRK paints its suit against Nest as the attempt of a proven industry giant to defend itself against a flippant Johnny-come-lately. "Nest's current marketing campaign incredibly attempts to take credit for Dr. Morris' and BRK's innovations, claiming that 'there has been no innovation in the market for years,'" says the complaint. "Had Nest actually participated in the smoke and carbon monoxide alarm market over the last ten years, it would know that the innovations that Nest is taking credit for are in fact BRK's patented technology."
Nest, meanwhile, is no stranger to lawsuits. Competitor Honeywell made practically the same move when Nest launched Its original thermostat, filing suit over patents that it said covered Nest's hardware design and "smart" features. That case is still ongoing, and Nest has already filed a response to BRK's complaint, dismissing it as "broad hand-waving." For one thing, Nest insists that its vents operate in a way that's practically the opposite of the patented system, even if the goal is the same; BRK's system itself, it claims, is also preceded by a patent from the 1970s.
Nest says not only is it not infringing BRK's patents, BRK can't even sue over some of them
Its argument against the voice system is a little different: Nest essentially says that BRK doesn't actually have the right to sue for infringement. BRK's technology was designed by outside inventor Dr. Gary Morris, who then worked with BRK and allegedly gave it an exclusive license to his patents. Nest disputes the "exclusive" claim and then goes even further, saying that Morris himself wasn't in any position to license his work; as a professor at West Virginia University, his patents would have belonged to the university. That's on top of Nest's other defenses, which include denying that BRK has suffered real harm and giving an excruciatingly detailed explanation of how its product doesn't fit the patent claims — the definition of "duration" makes an appearance here.
The first battle is over whether Nest will be able to sell smoke detectors as the lawsuit goes forward, after which the two companies will face off over the long-term future of the Protect. Nest CEO Tony Fadell has previously called Honeywell "worse than a patent troll" for its thermostat suit, and Nest is unlikely to think that BRK is any better.
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Unread 2013-11-30, 09:16 PM   #4
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I will be buying some of these after the holidays...I love my thermostat, and this sounds like an awesome product!
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Unread 2013-12-17, 10:28 AM   #5
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Question The Google/Nest Relationship thread

With home Internet speeds increasing and computer power getting smaller and faster, the promise of the connected home seems to finally be a reality. With smart appliances and even smart light bulbs that can be controlled from a smartphone, the so-called “Internet of things” is quickly gaining traction in today’s world.

One of the easiest and most practical places for this is the thermostat. A massive amount of home energy is used to heat and cool, much of which is wasted. Thermostats are very simple devices that are basically just an on/off switch. The smarts come in deciding when and how to turn it off and on. Companies like Nest have captured the market’s attention with their thermostat and now smoke alarm for being dead simple to use, beautiful to look at, and extremely functional.

The thermostat is also easy to sell to new buyers because it promises immediate money savings, often paying for itself very quickly. Now, Google may be interested in this market. According to a new rumor from The Information, Google is said to be testing a smart thermostat, even letting non employees use it already. Any information as to when (if ever) this device actually becomes a reality is anybody’s guess. Big companies like Google are always testing crazy ideas, many of which never leave the testing phase.

This isn’t the first time Google has experimented with home automation and energy tracking. Back in 2009 they launched a product called PowerMeter which promised to let users monitor and track their home’s energy use. It required placing a small but expensive device into your home’s electrical system which would then connect to WiFi and keep constant tabs on energy use. You could then monitor it from your smartphone and see what appliances were using the most energy and when they were using it.

But in 2012, Google canceled the PowerMeter project, citing lack of consumer interest. Perhaps they were simply focusing on smaller individual pieces of home automation, instead of the broad picture of whole-home energy monitoring? Maybe they’ve been working on the thermostat project since PowerMeter was canceled.

Those who have already adopted smart thermostats like the Nest swear by it and would never want to go back to a traditional, “dumb” thermostat. Google’s mission is to organize information and to draw people into using Google services more.

So what business sense would a thermostat make? Would Google use Motorola to manufacturer it, or partner with another company? What type of value proposition does the company see in selling home energy equipment directly to consumers?

One possibility is that this is never, and was never a consumer product. Perhaps they are simply researching more efficient and smart energy solutions for their data centers and offices and have opted to make one themselves instead of buying. Until they officially announce something, we won’t know for sure what they have planned.

If Google were to release a smart thermostat like the Nest, would you be interested?
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Unread 2013-12-17, 03:36 PM   #6
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Exclusive Early Glimpse At EnergySense, The Start Of Google's Renewed Bid For Home Energy Management






Yesterday, The Information reported that Google is rumored to be working on smart thermostats, in a renewed bid to help users manage their home energy (and interior climate). Information on the project is sparse so far, but Google hopes it will be a successful follow-up to the unsuccessful PowerMeter, a service that was killed off due to apparent scaling difficulties.
Thanks to a tipster who is - we know you've heard this before - familiar with the matter, we've got an early glimpse into Google's upcoming thermostat foray - we've got a few new details and a look at the service's Android app.
Our tipster tells us that the service will be able to control your home's thermostat remotely via Android or a web-based console. Above, you can see the web interface as viewed on a tablet. The mobile app likewise looks very much like any of Google's other web products - simple, intuitive illustration with plenty of long shadows and easy-to-recognize iconography. Controlling your home's temperature from the app is as easy as sliding your finger up or down over the round temperature indicator.
Users will be able to remotely monitor temperatures and create schedule presets for Awake, Away, Home, and Asleep. While these profiles aren't automated yet, our tipster indicates that Google is looking into more automation, and predictive capabilities either similar to or integrated with Google Now.
As for hardware, our tipster confirmed that Google is not - as of now - producing any related devices for this service, but that it will be compatible with off-the-shelf units (from Ecobee and presumably others) that allow Google's services to hook in. Ecobee (whose CEO told The Information the company currently has no business relationship with Google) already produces smart thermostats, but they lack some of the features Nest boasts, like motion detection. Our tipster implies, however, that something similar to Nest's learning modes will come in the future.
With the continued proliferation of connected appliances and home-bound gadgets, Google could be re-entering the arena at a great time. Whether the EnergySense brand will cover a broader range of devices than just thermostats remains to be seen, but this is certainly an exciting first step. We'll keep you posted as new details emerge.
Update: As we prepared this post for print, @evleaks shared a screenshot of the EnergySense app's listing in the Play Store, seen below.



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Unread 2013-12-18, 02:47 PM   #7
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Unread 2013-12-20, 04:32 PM   #8
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Nest Protect review: a smoke detector for the smartphone generation

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Back in 2011, Nest did the impossible: It made thermostats sexy. Apple veterans Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers applied their iPod-designing expertise to the largely utilitarian world of home-climate control, creating the Learning Thermostat, an appliance aimed squarely at the gadget-obsessed citizens of the smartphone age. And then, earlier this year, Fadell and Rogers took on another traditionally banal (but utterly important) aspect of home life: the smoke detector. The conceit of theNest Protect was to bring some of the same aesthetics and smart features that made the company's first product a success.
The result is a smoke/carbon monoxide detector with mobile device connectivity and a range of expressions that go far beyond the old beeping alarms, as well as a unique gesture feature that lets you silence the device with the wave of a hand. Admittedly bummed at the inability to test the Learning Thermostat in my prewar New York City apartment building, I happily jumped at the opportunity to review the Protect. So Nest sent along two devices, a can of something called a "smoke detector tester" and, thankfully, thorough instructions on how one goes about testing smoke detectors without accidentally burning the house down.
Nest Protect review

See all photos27 Photos

HARDWARE

Given Nest's origins, it's not especially surprising that the company managed to make even the product's box a thing to behold. The message is pretty clear: If Apple ever saw fit to produce a smoke detector, it would look something like this. It's a well-designed bit of packaging that looks more suited for a Best Buy vending machine than a dusty hardware store shelf. Inside, you'll find a wall mount, a set of four screws embedded directly into the cardboard packaging and an awful lot of paperwork -- after all, making sure the device works properly could be a matter of life or death. As for the Protect itself, you've got two options, both at the same price point: a battery-operated model, and a wired version for those who want to tap into their home circuitry. Seeing as how I won't be using the detector permanently, I opted for the latter, which comes with six AA Energizer Lithiums pre-installed.
Like most current smartphones, the Protect comes in either black or white. Nest sent me two white devices, thankfully -- far better for blending in on my apartment walls. Perhaps some of you willing to drop $129 on this sort of product want to make the thing as conspicuous as possible, but personally, I'd prefer not to have to discuss my smoke detector with everyone who visits my apartment (that's what record collections, bookshelves and stuffed grizzlies are for). With that in mind, it's not surprising that the Protect has a much subtler aesthetic than the company's first device, though it's still unquestionably a much nicer object than the vast majority of smoke detectors I've encountered.
The Apple connection is pretty clear here, right out of the box. With the clean lines and rounded corners, a quick look at the Protect's profile invites comparisons to a flattened Mac mini or Apple TV. The front of the device, meanwhile, is almost all grille -- this is, after all, a product designed to wake you from deep sleep a couple of rooms away. A big, circular button sporting a Nest logo sits in the middle of the dotted plastic face. Mobile devices aside, this button will be your primary method for interacting with the Protect. You'll press it several times during setup, any time you want to test the detector and when you want to quiet the alarm.
There's a thin circle in the button, with faint, light gray text so befuddled houseguests know they're looking at a smoke and carbon monoxide detector. In this spot, you'll also see the light that emanates from behind the button, forming a glowing ring in the center of the smoke detector. This is how the Protect manages to communicate without always making noise. Nest opted not to include a display, likely because you won't find yourself physically interacting with a smoke detector nearly as often as a thermostat. The vast majority of the time, there's no light on at all, allowing it to blend in with its surroundings and conserve battery life.
Still, the light is pretty expressive. During the setup process and testing, it turns blue, letting you know it's working and connected. When you turn off the lights at night, it glows green for a moment to let you know everything is all right with the sensors and batteries (if there's an issue, it'll turn yellow and tell you what the matter is when you wave your hand in front of it). And if you so choose during the setup process, the pathlight will light up when it detects motion in the dark, a sort of beacon to help you navigate your way through a pitch-black room. The light turns yellow as an early warning sign of a problem and red when it's time to sound the alarm.
On the back of the Protect, you'll find detailed explanations about each of the light colors and the standard warnings that come with a product like this. There's a micro-USB port in the middle for "internal use only," according to Nest, and holes for attaching it to the wall dock, a process that just requires a simple twist. At the bottom are two screws you'll need to take out to remove the back while changing the batteries. When you first take the Protect out of the box, you'll also spot a light blue tag popping out the back -- this ensures that the batteries aren't in before you're ready for them. You'll need to yank that out to get started.
SETUP

Pull out the tab and press the button and the Protect will say, "Hi." The smoke detector has a soft-spoken, feminine voice, the sort of strangely calming robotic presence you'd like guiding you in a time of emergency. The voice follows the greeting by asking you to choose whether you'd like her to speak in Spanish or English. Next up, you'll be prompted to test the Protect, to make sure things are all right. "The alarm will sound," she explains. "The alarm is loud." She ain't lying. It's grating, ear-piercing and strikingly loud, and you'll hear a total of six beeps as the Protect checks the smoke and then carbon monoxide sensors. It's annoying when you're testing the thing, sure, but when it comes to smoke alarms, loud is good. "The test is finished," she adds, calm as ever. And, if all goes according to plan, "everything is okay."
Now it's time to download the app. Ahead of Protect's release, the company issued an app that monitors both its thermostats and smoke detectors, available for iOS and Android. Create an account through Nest's site (if you don't already have one); use your handset to scan the QR code on the Protect's back (or manually enter a key, if you're so inclined); and the app will take you through a simple process of connecting it to your wireless network. If you've ever connected anything like a Chromecast to your home WiFi, this should be a familiar process, though I did have to repeat it a few times as everything attempted to connect. I spoke to a Nest rep, and the company's not sure what happened there, but the problem resolved itself before I had to pull my hair out. When you're done, the voice will tell you that she's "connected to the internet" and everything's ready to go. If you've got a second Protect, you'll be prompted to connect that, as well. It's a similar process, albeit slightly shorter with some redundant steps removed.
Next, it's time to take the old smoke detector off the wall -- though the company suggested I not actually do that in my testing, as the review units weren't quite final. This part of the process is naturally a bit more involved, should you opt for the wired version. According to the included instructions, the ceiling is the best place your Protect -- or, failing that, high up on a wall. In either case, it's best to avoid obscuring any edge of the detector with a tight corner. Once you've found the right spot, screw the backplate into the wall and snap the Protect in place.
TESTING

And now the fun(?) part. If the beeping during setup didn't set off the neighbors, I assumed the testing would. No one came knocking, however, which should give you some idea of how much you can count on the people in your building in case of emergency. Good thing I have four smoke detectors in my apartment at the moment. Nest equipped me with the Smoke Sabre, a smoke-detector tester in an aerosol can. With a spritz (or with actual smoke or carbon monoxide, naturally), the ring of light will turn yellow, alerting you that something is up. The Protect gives you a window of a few seconds in yellow, dimming slightly when it spots you, letting you know that you're in the sweet spot and can reset the alarm with a wave -- just as you might wave away the smoke when overcooking something on the stove. The idea is to stop false alarms before they start -- so if you're in the kitchen and something starts smoking, you don't have to deal with emergency alerts during a non-emergency.
I had a bit of trouble getting the gesture-based override to work during the trial, in spite of some frantic waving. I contacted Nest about the issue, and a rep told me that, due to federal regulations, there are two versions of the alarm. The less serious of the two can be overridden by the user. The other just goes straight to alarm. Apparently I've been hitting the old Smoke Sabre a little too hard. The upside, however, is that I got to see the Nest spring into action (the downside, naturally, is that I got to hear it, too). This, it turns out, is why you installed that app -- like the smoke detector itself, it will sit around idly for the majority of the time, a subtle reminder that everything is copacetic.
When the Protect encounters an issue, however, you'll get a push notification on your mobile device (an optional, but highly recommended feature). The normally green ring in the center of the app will turn red, along with a quick indicator of what's wrong (in this case: "Smoke"). Tap on that and you'll get a breakdown of your alarms' statuses -- e.g., "Smoke" for the dining room and "All Clear" for the kitchen. Tap through to notes and the app gives you a full breakdown of what happened -- at 4:47 PM: "There is smoke. The alarm is sounding." I was eventually able to hush the sound by hitting the button, and the timeline mentions that as well. At the top of the page is a "What to Do" note, including the usual stop, drop and roll instructions (which you hopefully don't need to pick up a smartphone to remember). There's also a big red button at the bottom for dialing 911.
WRAP UP

I'll admit it's been a while since I've been in the market for a smoke detector. A cursory scan of Amazon, however, indicates an average price between $10 and $30, with combo smoke/carbon monoxide detectors landing at the higher end of that spectrum. In either case, it's a range the $129 Protect misses by a country mile. Of course, this isn't just any smoke detector. Like the Learning Thermostat before it, it's a bit of home electronics aimed at gadget nerds, and certainly Nest has managed to do a lot in an otherwise staid category.
It's a lovely object, so far as these things go, and its expressive center lighting and voice directions offer a lot more than the standard series of beeps: alerting you to emergencies, low batteries and even lighting your way at night. The gesture-based hush can save your eardrums and the smartphone alerts may well save some lives. For most, however, standard smoke detectors will likely still do the trick. Even though certain device idiosyncrasies can be a hassle, $129 still feels like a lot to pay, given the industry average. And for those living in larger homes, it's a price that'll add up fast.


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Unread 2013-12-20, 04:57 PM   #9
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What benefit does the smart smoke detector really get you? Other than a nerdgasm for the first week when you're playing with it and showing it off to your friends, it's still just a detector that will sit on your wall or ceiling. Can it show you live data like %CO or PPM? Can it tie into my security system like my current smoke and heat detectors?

I can understand the smart thermostat, and am looking at replacing my current programmable with a Nest; but this just looks like another geek-device for the sake of having a geek-device.
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Unread 2013-12-20, 05:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 95PreludeSE View Post
What benefit does the smart smoke detector really get you? Other than a nerdgasm for the first week when you're playing with it and showing it off to your friends, it's still just a detector that will sit on your wall or ceiling. Can it show you live data like %CO or PPM? Can it tie into my security system like my current smoke and heat detectors?

I can understand the smart thermostat, and am looking at replacing my current programmable with a Nest; but this just looks like another geek-device for the sake of having a geek-device.
Fwiw: they have answered questions you asked via the FAQ on the website:

What is Nest Protect for Security Systems?
Nest Protect for Security Systems is a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm designed to connect to your home security system.

Nest Protect for Security Systems will be available in the first half of 2014.

This Nest Protect model is similar to the Nest Protect (Battery), but engineered to connect with existing security system control panels.

Nest Protect for Security Systems requires professional installation and will be available through the Nest Certified resellers.

Sign up here and we’ll email you when Nest Protect for Security Systems becomes available.
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Unread 2014-01-13, 04:29 PM   #11
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Well they are buying Nest for 3.2billion
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Unread 2014-01-13, 05:33 PM   #12
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Hell yes. If it shows in Google Now that will be a great addition with current weather in one spot.
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Unread 2014-01-13, 06:00 PM   #13
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Unread 2014-01-13, 06:43 PM   #14
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Google Acquires Nest for $3.2 Billion (Updated)





Google announced moments ago that it has acquired Nest Labs for $3.2 billion in cash.
For those not familiar, Nest “reinvents” home products that you either neglect, ignore, or don’t realize could be awesome and then makes them something you can’t live without. They are the creators of the Nest Thermostat and most recently, Nest Protect (smoke alarm). I reviewed the Nest Thermostat earlier in the year, calling it my favorite Android accessory, thanks to its ease of use, automation, and potential energy saving prowess. We have Nest Protects in house and will be doing some sort of review or overview in the near future.
In case you missed our story back in mid-December, we received word from sources suggesting that Google was in the middle of testing a similar smart home, thermostat application called EnergySense. The UI of the product looked identical to that of Nest, which we noted at the time. To see Google decide to buy Nest is somewhat surprising, yet not all that surprising. Nest is doing amazing game-changing things with home products, an arena Google has been eyeing since its introduction of Android@Home some three years ago.
According to the press release, Nest will continue to operate under current leadership and with its own “distinct brand identity.” Google hopes to help bring Nest to homes in more countries. Nest said that they will now be even “better placed to build simple, thoughtful devices that make life easier at home, and have a positive impact on the world.”
Whoa.
Update: Here is a Q&A posted to Nest’s site concerning the acquisition -
Will Nest continue to support iOS so I can have the Nest app on my iPhone or iPad?
Yes, absolutely. We’ll continue supporting iOS, Android and modern web browsers so you can check in on your home and control the temperature from wherever you are.
Will Nest and Google products work with each other?
Nest’s product line obviously caught the attention of Google and I’m betting that there’s a lot of cool stuff we could do together, but nothing to share today.
What will happen to the Nest warranties on products?
No change there – we stand behind our products like we always have.
Will I still be able to find Nest products at my local retailer?
You bet. We intend to continue selling through the same partners in the US, Canada and the UK.
Will Nest customer data be shared with Google?
Our privacy policy clearly limits the use of customer information to providing and improving Nest’s products and services. We’ve always taken privacy seriously and this will not change.
Update 2: Nest CEO Tony Fadell had this to say in a blog post -
So if things are going so well, why did we decide to partner with Google?
Google will help us fully realize our vision of the conscious home and allow us to change the world faster than we ever could if we continued to go it alone. We’ve had great momentum, but this is a rocket ship.
Google has the business resources, global scale and platform reach to accelerate Nest growth across hardware, software and services for the home globally. And our company visions are well aligned – we both believe in letting technology do the hard work behind the scenes so people can get on with the things that matter in life. Google is committed to helping Nest make a difference and together, we can help save more energy and keep people safe in their homes.

Nest will continue to be Nest, with its own distinct brand identity. We will continue to reimagine and reinvent the unloved products that proliferate in our homes, just as we have since we started. We are simply going to get our products into the hands of people around the world – faster.


Quote:
Google to Acquire Nest
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA – JANUARY 13, 2014 — Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) announced today that it has entered into an agreement to buy Nest Labs, Inc. for $3.2 billion in cash.
Nest’s mission is to reinvent unloved but important devices in the home such as thermostats and smoke alarms. Since its launch in 2011, the Nest Learning Thermostat has been a consistent best seller–and the recently launched Protect (Smoke + CO Alarm) has had rave reviews.
Larry Page, CEO of Google, said: “Nest’s founders, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, have built a tremendous team that we are excited to welcome into the Google family. They’re already delivering amazing products you can buy right now–thermostats that save energy and smoke/CO alarms that can help keep your family safe. We are excited to bring great experiences to more homes in more countries and fulfill their dreams!”
Tony Fadell, CEO of Nest, said: “We’re thrilled to join Google. With their support, Nest will be even better placed to build simple, thoughtful devices that make life easier at home, and that have a positive impact on the world.”
Nest will continue to operate under the leadership of Tony Fadell and with its own distinct brand identity. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals in the US. It is expected to close in the next few months.
About Google Inc.
Google is a global technology leader focused on improving the ways people connect with information. Google’s innovations in web search and advertising have made its website a top internet property and its brand one of the most recognized in the world.
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Unread 2014-01-13, 07:28 PM   #15
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Why Nest Is Worth Every Penny








The news today that Google is buying smart thermostat-maker Nest for $3.5 billion seemed slightly unhinged; why overbid for what's still, at present, a niche product? The answer is so simple it's barely worth a shrug: because it can, because it needs to, and because if it didn't, someone else would have.
From a financial standpoint, $3.5 billion for a company whose most recent—and even then jaw-dropping—valuation was around $2 billion not two weeks ago seems modestly insane. Especially given that the $2 billion number was itself more than twice the $800 million valuation reported by GigaOm last year. And double especially when you remember that this is a company whose product, while popular, ships only in the tens of thousands each month.
As of Sept. 30th of last year, Google had nearly $55 billion in cash to play with. And while a future-looking world-domination buy like Boston Dynamics is fun to play with, Nest gives Google something it's been sorely lacking: A chance to get inside people's homes. Actually, it's better than that. It's a chance to get inside people's brains.
It's important to remember that Google, for all its headline-grabbing moonshots, is an advertising company. It makes its money by serving highly relevant ads against searches that you make in your browsers, or conversations you have in your email, or poetry you dictate to Google Now. And while its purchase of Motorola and various Nexus partnerships have landed it some very competent phones and tablets, Google's attempts to invade the homestead—a place it would very much like to invade—have fizzled at best, and been laughable at worst.

Google TV? More than three years later, still without hardware anyone cares about. Logitech abandoned it altogether; LG decided webOS would be a better bet. Yep, that's the same webOS that's basically been a walking, Weekend at Bernie's-type carcass since 2011. Rebranding Google TV as might help a bit—at least until Apple makes its next big living room play.





The media-streaming Nexus Q orb? So deeply bad that it never made it out of preorders. Google Glass? Incredibly neat, very future, but socially stunting . Chromecast? Wonderful, but limited, a cheap and cheerful bichon frise nipping at Apple TV's heels.
Those fumbles matters. Forget wearables; the home is the next great frontier for tech companies looking to sell not only hardware, but hardware that can learn about you. Every bit of data that Google can squeeze out of your life helps its advertising engines quantify you. The more parts of your life it can turn into 1s and 0s, the easier it is for the most relevant ad to find you in the internet wilderness.

But Google's fundamental problem with home-grown hardware has always been that while it knows more about technology than just about anybody, it doesn't understand the people who use it. And while Nest's greatest weakness is that it only has two products, neither of which appears to have the kind of sales that justify a $3.5 billion check, its great strength is that it understands the problems human beings have, and how to solve them in an approachable way.
And honestly, you might not mind Google snooping around in your thermostat, at least a little. Google recently introduced location-based reminders ("Remind me to get baby wipes when I go to Safeway"). Imagine if it could do the same through your home, rather than through your phone. It could harness the same incredible network it uses to predict flu outbreaks and whether a movie will bomb to make your home more efficient, safe, and smart.
Google didn't buy Nest for a thermostat and a smoke alarm (although those will both be nicely profitable businesses someday, if they aren't already). Google bought Nest for the brains behind those products, the empathy that it has found lacking in itself.
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Unread 2014-01-13, 10:41 PM   #16
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That's pretty cool
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Unread 2014-01-20, 02:00 PM   #17
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Nest CEO Tony Fadell Aims to Ease Privacy Fears Under Google Control













Nest CEO Tony Fadell (Source: Yahoo Finance)


Any changes to Nest/Google's privacy agreement will be "opt-in"

Last week, Google shocked the tech community when it announced that it was acquiring Nest Labs for $3.2 billion. While the acquisition made sense to Google given the company’s insatiable quench for automation services and hardware, many people were concerned about user privacy with Google now at the helm.

After all, no one wants to wake up in the middle of the night and walk past their Nest thermostat only to see the display light up with ads for insomnia pills.

In fact, Nest co-founder Matt Rogers looked to ease fears about privacy on the day of the announcement with a blog post, stating, “Our privacy policy clearly limits the use of customer information to providing and improving Nest’s products and services. We’ve always taken privacy seriously and this will not change.”

Now, Nest CEO Tony Fadell is looking to provide a little more clarity to the whole issue, thanks to comments he made at the DLD Conference in Munich, Germany. Fadell explained, “At this point, there are no changes. The data that we collect is all about our products and improving them.”

More importantly, Fadell added, “If there were ever any changes whatsoever, we would be sure to be transparent about it, number one, and number two for you to opt-in to it.”

So it appears that for now, Nest users are safe from being brought unwittingly into the Google “collective.”
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Unread 2014-01-28, 04:48 PM   #18
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I bought one after failing a permit inspection for not having a carbon monoxide detector after installing a water heater installed. I could have just bought a cheap one, but our dogs are kenneled downstairs while we are away so the idea of it notifying me in an emergency is something I really liked. Plus, the fact that it will shut off the HVAC if it detects carbon monoxide (since I have the Nest Thermostat) is awesome.

I decided to set it off last night to see how quickly the whole process works. I made sure I didn't have the app running full-time on my phone and lit a small fire to set it off. It went off pretty quickly and within probably 10 seconds of it going off my phone was beeping rather loudly with a Nest alert. I was impressed with how quickly the alert made it to me.

It's expensive, but it's also a REALLY nice device to have for piece of mind. I know while I'm at work I can't immediately save the lives of our dogs, but at least this gives me a very quick heads up to something happening in our home and gives me a chance to both call 911 and head that way. Since I'm just across town it could be a life-saver, who knows.
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Unread 2014-01-29, 12:02 AM   #19
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2 weeks with a NEST thermostat.
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Unread 2014-01-30, 03:20 PM   #20
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Nest may be Google’s hardware branch now, doing more than ‘home’ products




In Google’s purchase of Nest, some wondered what would happen to the connected home company. Was Google simply conducting an ‘acquihire’, using Nest for their IP and patents? A new report suggest the Nest team will become Google’s hardware division — sort of. By keeping them intact, just working under the auspice of Google, more great things are likely to come of the purchase.

According to TechCrunch, Nest will remain entirely as it is, just working as a Google company rather than independently. They also won’t be limited to connected home products. Google is asking that Nest work on products that “make more sense for the company”, though what those are isn’t clear just yet.
Nest CEO Tony Fadell, incidentally, has some chops when it comes to product design. Aside form his work with Nest’s thermostat and smoke detector, he is formerly of Apple. There, he helped design two of their more iconic mobile products, the iPod and iPhone. He was actually a founding member of the iPhone development team, and has an adept understanding of the relationship between hardware and software.

Google is also reportedly not asking Nest to adhere to a budget, and has given them carte blanche to do as they please. With Nest and Tony Fadell, has Google found their Jonny Ive? With a slew of Motorola mobile patents and an already robust mobile ecosystem in Android, Google may just be building a hardware division from the ground up.
In jettisoning Motorola, it became fairly clear to many that the patents kept were the goal all along for Google. In purchasing Nest, we’re now learning the goal is hardware beyond the connected home. Looking at the big picture of recent Google activity, we’re seeing a company that may want to round into shape as a consumer goods company. Whether or not it will work remains to be seen.
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Unread 2014-02-06, 03:19 PM   #21
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Google’s $3.2 Billion Purchase of Nest Cleared by FTC





Back in January, it was announced that Google would be acquiring Nest, the smart thermostat and smoke detector company whose popularity has been growing gradually since its humble beginnings as a Kickstarter project, for a whopping $3.2 billion. With high profile acquisitions, especially one that concerns the data privacy of users, the deal had to go through FTC approval.
According to a new report from Computer World, the deal has been approved early by the FTC and Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, with Google hoping the deal is completely closed within a couple of months.
Now what happens? It has been speculated that after Motorola’s departure from Google that Nest will take up the hardware manufacturing needs of Google, reportedly for consumer electronics and other special projects. No details are definitive, but you can bet that Google has bigger plans for their $3.2 billion investment than to just keep making smoke detectors and thermostats.
Whatever Google does have in mind, we are sure it’s going to be quite exciting.
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Unread 2014-02-06, 03:33 PM   #22
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Oh the irony. Google owning a product designed by an Apple guy.
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Unread 2014-02-06, 03:35 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by BuddyLee View Post
Oh the irony. Google owning a product designed by an Apple guy.
They used to be ran by a former apple board member also ...
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Unread 2014-02-06, 08:10 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuddyLee View Post
Oh the irony. Google owning a product designed by an Apple guy.
They both irony all over each other's faces.

I'm excited to see what comes of this.
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Unread 2014-03-25, 08:49 AM   #25
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Nest CEO says Google has tech we’ll need “5-10 years from now”







Nest’s Tony Fadell is very complimentary of his new parent company. In a recent interview, he said Google was building the products we’d need, moving forward. He took time to take a swipe at his former employer while he was at it. Though he didn’t make specific reference, his tone suggests Google had bigger aspirations than we may know.

In the interview, the CEO said he “helped to change the world twice with the iPod and the iPhone. I want the chance to do it a third time.” He went on to say Nest has sold much or than people know, and that “Unlike other companies that have been purchased for big, big sums, we have real revenues.” Well, then.
Fadell also took the time to agian hammer home that Nest uses your personal info for their own gain, and Google has no part in it. He said the seperation of Nest and Google was made “very clear” when hammering out a deal. He also said Nest won’t be migrating to Mountain View, as some suspected after the deal was announced. He also added the Google grab was “was not a financially driven transaction”, and that both had aspirations to change the world. That likely gets us right back to his attempt to “change the world” a third time.
Though he set the record straight on Google and Nest, Fadell also took a jab at Apple. The guy who built the iPod and first iPhone said “I don’t know what Apple is working on. When I looked at the technology we are going to need 5-10 years from now, who has that and who is building it, it is Google.” We won’t disagree with that, but we're sure other companies are working on things that will change things in their own way. It may not be robots, but Apple likely has something good in the pipeline.
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