Google’s Nest smoke alarm recalled

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iol scitech may 22 nest smoke alarm AFP 'Consumers are asking: If you buy a Nest, are you stuck with Google for the rest of your life?'

San Francisco - The US Product Safety Commission on Wednesday issued a recall notice for 440 000 smoke and carbon monoxide alarms by Nest, a tech-driven start-up acquired by Google earlier this year.

Nest in April disclosed that a “wave” feature that lets people disable alert sounds by flailing their arms could also accidentally be triggered by other gestures.

The Google-owned company offered refunds and released software disabling the feature.

The recall notice formalises that owners of the approximately 440 000 Nest detectors sold can get refunds instead of rendering the Internet-connected alarms safe with software updates.

The notice said there have been no reports of incidents, injury or damage related to the wave feature.

Nest discontinued sales of the alarms after putting out word of the potential problem, but is reportedly on track to resume sales in a month or so.

Google in January bought the company, which began as a smart-thermostat start-up, in a deal valued at $3.2-billion.

Nest co-founder Tony Fadell is a former senior vice president of the Apple division behind iPods and iPhones. Fellow co-founder Matt Rogers was a lead iPod software engineer working with Fadell at Apple.

Inspiration for Nest came when Fadell was building an environmentally-friendly home in Northern California and discovered that thermostat technology was stuck in a bygone era. Fadell pulled together a team to bring the thermostat into the mobile Internet age.

Nest launched in late 2011 with its smart thermostat and later added a smoke and carbon monoxide detector to its line. - Sapa-AFP

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