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Nest Protect, a smart smoke detector that isn’t annoying

Read our full Nest Protect review.

My last apartment had one of those scumbag smoke alarms in it. I’m sure you know the type I’m referring to – the kind that doesn’t even let you open a bag of popcorn in the adjacent room without going “Oh, you’re cooking? Allow me to play you the song of my people!” This thing would go off even when there wasn’t a visible plume of smoke in the air. And once it started its skull-piercing klaxon, no amount of newspaper waving or carefully-coordinated box fan ventilation would get it to shut up. Nine times out of ten, my roommates and I would just rip its beating heart (battery) out and let it stay dead.

Obviously that’s not the safest move, but plenty of us are guilty of it. Gutting your annoying smoke alarm (no matter how satisfying it may be at the time) leaves you vulnerable and unprepared in the event of a house fire. So to help relieve this problem, Nest, the company behind the revolutionary smart thermostat of the same name, has developed Nest Protect – a smart, Wi-Fi-connected smoke alarm that isn’t irritating as hell.

Rather than crying wolf and ruining your eardrums every time you burn a bagel, Nest Protect will give you a simple, plain-English heads up when it detects small amounts of smoke or carbon monoxide. Seriously, it’ll actually say “head’s up, there’s smoke in the kitchen,” in your native tongue, rather than beeping like an asshole robot. Of course, if it senses an actual emergency, it’ll bypass such warnings in favor of a full-on alarm. But in the event that your house isn’t actually on fire and you want the device to shut up, all you’ve got to do is wave your hand in front of it – no frenetic blanket waving or broomstick pokes necessary.

As you’d expect from any smart device from Nest, Protect also has the ability to connect to your home Wi-Fi network. This allows you to control the device, monitor battery life, and get alerts on your smartphone or tablet while you’re away from home. All these bells and whistles do come at a price though. At $129 per unit, Protect is definitely a bit more pricey than your average smoke alarm, but we’d gladly fork over the cash if it means no more 3AM low-battery warnings.

Find out more about Nest Protect or lock down a pre-order here.

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