Shortly after Google acquired Nest, Tony Fadell’s company behind the smart thermostat and smart smoke/carbon monoxide detector, the company ran into a patch of unrelated issues with its Nest Protect product launched months earlier with reports of false alarms from many users and an issue with the ‘wave to dismiss’ feature touted as a key benefit of the product. A soft recall later followed remotely disabling the dismiss feature after a safety bug was discovered followed by a reduced price once it went back on sale.
While the ability to motion to dismiss an alarm is still disabled as the company works toward better implementing it reliably, current and future Nest Protect owners will benefit from new features delivered through a software update for the product. Steam Check, a feature that takes advantage of the device’s humidity sensor and an advanced algorithm, now allows the Nest Protect to distinguish smoke from steam by determining the presence of moisture. Steam from hot water shouldn’t be a reason to panic, and the Nest Protect says this feature will reduce the number of false alarms for users.
Nest Protect users will also benefit from a 10-day history of events from the device via the corresponding smartphone application. This information is presented alongside the existing guide for what to do in the case of smoke or carbon monoxide detection, which the device of course detects.
Users can also toggle the brightness of the Pathlight, the ring you see around the device notifying you of its status. Changing the Nest Protect’s light brightness can be performed remotely via the smartphone apps.