After thermostat, Nest tackles smoke detectors with Protect

The rumors were correct: Nest, the company founded by former Apple iPod boss Tony Fadell, unveiled their second product today - it's called Protect, and it reinvents the household smoke detector the same way that Nest reinvented the thermostat.

"Safety shouldn't be annoying" is the slogan Nest is using for Protect, and that's the design philosophy in a nutshell - smoke alarms too often go off when we burn something on the stove or start chirping in the middle of the night when batteries run low. Too often our solution is simply to disconnect the detector all together.

Nest aims to make the smoke detector an interactive and more friendly device - you can wave at it to shut it off in the event of a small kitchen disaster; it works with the Nest Thermostat and will shut off your gas furnace if it detects carbon monoxide. There's an accompanying app that gives you status information, and Protect even has a built in (optional) nightlight if you'd like it to light your way to the bathroom at 3 in the morning.

Pre-orders are now being accepted; Protect costs $129. It will come in white or black and will be available in wired or battery-powered versions.

Have you ever had trouble with your smoke detector going off when it shouldn't? Does Protect seem like a good option? Sound off in the comments - I want to know what you think.