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Nest’s Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm is back on sale after it was taken off shelves at the start of April following the discovery of a potentially dangerous software flaw.
Nest resumed sales of the Internet-connected device Monday night, offering it for $99 – that’s $30 lower than the old price.
Protect’s reduced price tag may be because it’s relaunching without one of its standout features – Wave. This used to let you disable the device with a simple wave of the hand, ideal for when a wisp of harmless smoke from the stove set it off. However, it was a Wave-related problem spotted a couple of months back that caused Nest to issue a safety notice, followed a month later by a product recall of nearly half a million Protect units.
Commenting on the issue when it first came to light, company CEO Tony Fadell said his lab engineers had discovered “a unique combination of circumstances” that could “unintentionally activate” the Wave feature. Essentially, this meant the unit could be sleeping when a genuine emergency situation occurred.
Fadell added that he wasn’t aware of the flaw having affected any customers directly, but nevertheless deemed it serious enough to demand the Google-owned company’s immediate attention. Action at the time included the automatic disabling of the Wave feature over the Internet, withdrawing the unit from sale and issuing the product recall.
The company had earlier promised to find a fix for the software glitch, but Nest engineers are evidently still working on a solution. However, although the Wave feature is currently disabled, the unit can still be used in the usual way, though it means you’ll have to physically hit Nest’s button to silence the device in the event of a false alarm. Features that do continue to function include clear and detailed human-voice alerts, mobile notifications for low battery, and mobile alerts if an event occurs while you’re out of the house.
Announcing the relaunch of the smart safety device, the company’s Doug Sweeny said in a blog post, “We’re very pleased that Nest Protect is once again available to customers. And now, the price is $99 to make it accessible to as many people as possible.”