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Brief Published: 10 Oct 2013

Nest Protect: Intelligent Smoke Alarm

Nest Protect

Nest Protect is a new smoke and carbon monoxide alarm from the US tech company behind the Nest thermostat. Priced at $129, the user-friendly alarm interprets data from a host of smoke, heat and gesture sensors to minimise annoyance.

When it detects a small amount of smoke, Protect will issue a voice warning to residents, which can be silenced with a wave. If the situation escalates, an 80-decibel alarm will sound. The Nest Protect will also interact with the Nest thermostat – if Protect detects carbon monoxide, it will instruct the thermostat to turn off the home furnace, the most common source of carbon monoxide leaks.

“We’ve created an emotional smoke detector, much like we did with the thermostat,” said Matt Rogers, co-founder of Nest. At night, Protect glows green to indicate all is well, and also acts as a motion-sensitive nightlight. It will also alert a user via smartphone when its batteries are running low, replacing the traditional low-battery beeping.

With just two products to its name, Nest is pursuing a restrained, perfectionist approach to product development – a strategy practiced by Apple, where Rogers previously worked. “It’s sort of like the evolution of the smart home, except one piece at a time,” he told business website Forbes. “One great product at a time to create this great experience.”

Technology has become part of the fabric of life, and consumer products must behave politely, supporting relationships between people as well as responding to body language. Learn the importance of built-in emotional intelligence in our macro trend Agile Futures and Design Strategy: Adding Emotion.