Unlike conventional smoke detectors, or thermostats, Nest‘s products can gain new features without having to buy and install a completely new device. That is the case here with version 2.0 of the software for the Nest Protect, giving it a couple of new features that not only help owners weed out false alarms but also learn from the past.
Nest Protect is getting smarter. Now it will be able to differentiate smoke from innocent steam which always trips up conventional detectors. To do this, it utilizes its own built-in humidity sensor plus some fancy programming to better warn you of real fires versus your cooking. Nest Labs says that real world testing, not lab testing, proved that the new system more than halved the instances of false alarms. The smoke detector is now also so smart that it can sniff out and connect to your hidden WiFi, so you can now enable your network’s stealth mode again.
Nest Protect is now also more retentive in that it can now show you a log of what has happened in the past 10 days via the Safety History feature. Aside from being a troubleshooting tool, showing you where and when false alarms happened, it also lets you analyze the “hot spots” in your home so that you can adjust or fix things accordingly. That ties into the detector’s new Carbon Monoxide functionality, showing you how much CO triggered the alarm and for how long. Nest Labs, however, warns that this is more of a forensic “after the fact” tool. When Nest Protect detects CO and you are at home, you should be more concerned about getting out rather than analyzing data. And that is where the new What To Do 2.0 comes in.
What To Do gives you a game plan when emergencies do happen and lets you practice emergency procedures. It lets you customize the notifications that you will get in case there is really a situation, for example, by displaying the number of emergency contacts. Of course, common sense dictates that your smartphone shouldn’t be your primary, much less your only, resource or backup plan during such emergencies.