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Nest Smoke Detector: Winner or Loser?

October 9, 2013 | Blog

The Nest Learning Thermostat changed the world of air conditioning with its smart technology. It seems Tony Fadell, Matt Rogers and Nest Labs have done it again — or have they? The Nest Protect is the world’s first smoke detector to combine Wi-Fi connectivity, voice warning (think of Siri on the wall), early warning and motion-sensing wave off for home safety and comfort.

The New Nest Protect

The Nest Protect smoke detector is a departure from their thermostat, which was primarily marketed as a product focused on helping consumers save on their utility bills through lower HVAC usage. Saving money is the primary motivator for people to purchase the Nest thermostat in droves. Nest Labs’ latest product launch reveals the corporate focus of the emerging company. It’s clear that their long-term vision is focused on home automation.

Home automation is an increasingly emerging market that some accept and others reject. However, is Nest’s leading edge too early? Total home automation is attractive to a smaller percentage of consumers than saving on utility. The future of Nest as an industry leader boils down to whether consumers will embrace the Nest Protect and other home automation devices or just view it as something too expensive for its novel benefits.

Let’s overview the product itself and see if the benefits are as compelling for the smoke and CO detector as the Nest Learning Thermostat.

Compelling Benefits of Nest Protect Smoke Detector


Just like the Nest thermostat, the smoke detector connects to your home Wi-Fi. The smoke detectors and thermostat can all communicate to ensure greater comfort.

Nest Protect -iPhone app communicates with the thermostat and other smoke detectors


Who could have predicted a smoke detector with a voice? No, you can’t have a conversation with you’re smoke detector, but it will tell you where in your house CO or Smoke is being detected if triggered. This could be extremely useful, especially when thinking of your family’s safety in the event of an emergency.


Most of us have been stuck waving a broom or plate at our smoke detectors when cooking dinner takes a turn for the worse? The Nest Protect will allow you the opportunity to tell it that you’re just cooking. You can literally wave off the alarm! This is a huge advantage.


In true Nest fashion, the Nest Protect goes against the trend of smoke detector aesthetics and design. Their smoke detector is square instead of the traditional circle. It also comes in two color options, black and white.

Color options for nest protect smoke detector – black and white

Value Dilemma For the $129 Smoke Detector

Nest Protect is the most expensive CO and Smoke detector I’ve seen. Average prices for smoke detectors are in the range of $15-$40, but the Nest Protect is $100 more expensive than the average smoke detector. Arguing in defense of this steep price, this is no “average smoke detector.” Consumers must decide if the value of this new product is comparable to its price, especially because its many benefits can be viewed as luxuries compared to other, more traditional smoke detectors.

The Nest Smoke detector is an incredible product, once again redefining what a traditional home appliance can be. But is this new market disruption going to create as big of waves as the thermostat? I don’t think it will.

For more information on thermostats and smoke detectors or to share your thoughts, contact Mission AC & Plumbing.

Pictures on this page come from www.Nest.com


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