Print  |  Send  |   

Gesture flaw makes Google's Nest halt sale of smoke alarms

April 07, 2014 // Peter Clarke

Gesture flaw makes Google's Nest halt sale of smoke alarms

Nest Labs Inc., the Internet-connected domestic environment control company that was recently bought by Google for $3.2 billion, has been forced to disable a gesture recognition feature on its Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. The company has also suspended sales of the units while it fixes the problem.

The problem highlights gesture recognition reliability and its suitability for use in safety-critical applications.

In a note on its website. Nest states that in certain circumstances the feature of waving at the smoke alarm to turn it off could be activated unintentionally. This could delay an alarm going off in the case of a fire, the company said. In the note Tony Fadell, CEO of Nest Labs, said that the company identified the problem internally and was not aware of any customers that had experienced the problem.

The fix is likely to take at least two months after which the company will send a software update to turn the feature back on, the note said.

"We discovered that movements near the product that are not intended as a wave can be misinterpreted by the Nest Wave algorithm. If this occurs during a fire, this could delay the alarm going off. So, we are disabling this feature until we have a proper solution," Nest said on its website.

The same flaw does not affect Nest's thermostat product, the company said.

Nest Labs (Palo Alto, Calif.) was founded in 2011 with a mission of adding Wi-Fi Internet connections and software for remote control to heating, ventilation and air-conditioning and other domestic environmental control products. The company's approach was to bring Apple-like simplicity to interfaces for enhanced domestic appliances. The company was founded by Tony Fadell, CEO, and Matt Rogers, vice president of engineering, and both executives had a pedigree of having worked at Apple on the iPod with its simple circular touch wheel control interface.

All news

Sensors & Conditioning,Sensing/Conditioning/

Follow us

Fast, Accurate & Relevant for Design Engineers only!

Technical papers     

Linear video channel


Read more

This month, Freescale is giving away 5 RIoTboards, worth 74 dollars each, for EETimes Europe's readers to win.


Designed to run Android operating systems efficiently or to run under Linux, the board is based on the Freescale i.MX 6Solo processor; using the ARM Cortex-A9 architecture.

The RIoTboard platform also includes a rich set of peripherals including a 10M/100M/Gb Ethernet port, 1...


Design centers     

Infotainment Making HDTV in the car reliable and secure

December 15, 2011 | Texas instruments | 222901974

Unique Ser/Des technology supports encrypted video and audio content with full duplex bi-directional control channel over a single wire interface.


You must be logged in to view this page

Login here :