After causing a bit of a worry the last few months, Nest, now owned by Google, is putting its Protect smart smoke detector back on its shelves. And perhaps in an attempt to tide users both old and new into its nest, pun intended, the company has considerably reduced the price required to get one of those devices into your homes.
In April, Nest suddenly halted the sales of its Nest Protect product after a severe flaw in one of its features was discovered. The culprit was the wave-to-silence gesture that not only hushed the alarm but also inadvertently turned off the alarm from making any sound at all. Fortunately, no one was yet hurt by this flaw, but Nest immediately promised a firmware update to address that issue.
The update would indeed come, but a month later, there was word that people would have to yank out the Nest Protect and have it replaced. Considering that it takes quite some effort to install one, it's not exactly inspiring news. The truth of the matter, however, is that the firmware update addressed issues with the wave-to-silence feature and owners need only check that they are running the latest version. That said, those who have grown to mistrust Nest because of the incident could, of course, still send the device back.
Today, the company is resuming sales of the Nest Protect, with a small anecdote of the real-world, life-saving benefits of having such a device installed in your home. Perhaps for some people, the damage has been done, but there are always others who will be willing test the waters as well. For these folks, they will meet a new price for the Nest Protect, now sold for only $99 from its previous $129 price tag.
However, the wave-to-silence feature has not returned with the alarm, and Nest is still to say when - or if - that will be the case.
Still, the timing, both of the return and the price cut, couldn't be better. Nest might be looking at trying times ahead now that it has become an even bigger target after its Google acquisition. It is also seeing some competitors rising up to try and share, or take, its part of the market pie. Honeywell Lyric will be taking on Nest's own Thermostat product, though it's not likely that Honeywell, who specializes in thermostats, will be taking an interest in smoke detectors.