Nest's next smart device is Protect, a connected smoke detector

Nest, headed by former iPod VP, reportedly to offer smoke detectors

Nest, the "learning thermostat" maker founded by former Apple's senior vice president of its iPod division, is reportedly working on a smart smoke detector, according to former Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin.

Kara Swisher of AllThingsD adds that it will be called Protect, and be part of a series of smart devices, including the original thermostat.

Nest's thermostat does more than turn your furnace and your air conditioning on and off. Nest's product learns your schedule - when you're home, when you're away, how you like the temperature set when you're there - and figures out how to set itself. It also takes commands from a smartphone, and connects to the household Wi-Fi. A built-in LCD display shows you temperature and current operations, all built into a rotary interface that's familiar to most people who have used dial-based thermostats.

Lessin says that the smoke detector - like the learning thermostat - will sport an array of unique features, like the ability to communicate with a Nest thermostat, or silence with a hand wave (handy if all that smoke is something you left on the stove for too long instead of an actual fire).

So far Nest is mum on the details, and hasn't admitted that it is working on a smoke detector, so time will tell if Lessin's rumor proves to be true. But the company has stated its intention to replace "unloved whited plastic crap" in the house, so a smoke detector would be a logical next step.

Do you use a Nest thermostat? Are you interested in wirelessly connecting replacements for all that "unloved white plastic crap" in your house with your smartphone? Or does that seem like a problem waiting to happen? Tell me what you think in the comments.

Source: Jessica Lessin

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Peter Cohen

Mac Managing Editor of iMore and weekend Apple Product Professional at a local independent Apple reseller. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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Reader comments

Nest's next smart device is Protect, a connected smoke detector


I have my list of items am putting in my next house (moving for work next year).

The Nest thermostat, hue lighting, the kevo deadbolt. This is now on that list. Awesome.

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Little to no utility in a smart smoke detector. You'd be better off figuring out how to "prevent" fires rather than simply notify people their home is burning.

I think the "unloved plastic crap" that they're referring to is not smoke detector. If I'm going to make a guess, they're talking about a nest version of Wemo. Most residential has a plastic switch and plate and nest replacing that with a remote controlled switch from your smartphone.

I think this can also complement the thermostat that it learns when you're home. Same thing with a light switch. It detects and learn when you're home and the amount of light you're getting from that particular room.

Just my 2 cents.

I have been pretty happy for the most part w my gen 2 Nest. But a smart smoke detector doesn't not seem like something that would ever appeal to me unless there's some unknown feature a smoke detector could offer that I'm completely oblivious to currently. I don't see this rumor panning out.

Next on my home automation wish list is a keyless deadbolt. Maybe it already exists, but a deadbolt connected to wifi would be cool. Could remotely lock and unlock, make sure door is locked, etc. That would appeal to me.

Unloved white plastic crap could also mean light switches, doorbell box, a variety of outlets, home security sensors, intercoms, baby monitors, etc.

Considering the cost of wiring and monitoring a home security system (and lack of innovation) Nest would be perfect. So would remote controlled or intelligent light switches.

I love my Nest 2. It has a lot more features than just turning the HVAC on/off.

When our AC broke down recently, the sales people tried to up-sell me to a model with intelligent features (like proactive fan control) that my Nest already had for hundreds of dollars.

I was looking for his for my business. I didn't want I have to retrofit my whole business with sprinklers and flashing lights to be able to get a smoke detector that is connected to a monitoring system, to get the fire dept to come in case of fire. Now I can be alerted if there is smoke at my business and it or I will call the fire dept.

I don't really see the point. To me the point of a smoke detector is that it alerts anyone who is in immediate danger in the home - this won't make that any quicker. And if there is someone home they will probably be able to call 911 before someone outside will.

Maybe you can make a case that having a connected smoke detector might shave some response time off first responders getting to an empty home, but eh.

I'm with Obsidian's post from above: focus on preventing the fire.

"Nest's product learns your schedule - when you're home, when you're away"
WHY do so many things recently want to "learn my schedule"?! Nest, Google Now, even iOS7 with the background loading tries to learn your usage patterns. Great, I have a very irregular schedule. Why do none of these apps let me insert my "schedule" manually, at least the parts that I think are somehow fixed?

I love the nest thermostat! I live in NYC but also have a condo in Florida. I like the ability to check and control the conditions in my condo even when not there. Like making sure that humidity is kept low. Also, I cN cool down the condo in advance of arriving there. So I don't come into a warm apartment.

It is also nice to anticipating arrivals (schedule learning).

Great piece of electronics.

This is useful if it does detect carbon monoxide and has the subscription service. It would also be useful if one alarm went off it would set all of the alarms off in the house (assuming you had more than one). We have pets a home. This would be an added level of security for us something happened while we were at work or out.