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Nest pulls Protect smoke detector from retail on safety issue

A glitch in the gesture recognition function prompts Nest to halt retail sales and issue a software update to existing owners.

Nest Protect
Lindsey Turrentine/CNET

Nest CEO Tony Fadell issued a memo this afternoon indicating that the company will be pulling the Nest Protect smoke detector from retail shelves, and disabling a core feature via software update for existing owners.

The company described the problem as "a unique combination of circumstances that caused us to question whether the Nest Wave could be unintentionally activated. This could delay an alarm going off if there was a real fire."

Nest Wave is the gesture recognition function in the device that lets you turn off the alarm by waving your hand in front of it. Nest touts Wave as a convenience feature that makes it easy to quiet the Protect during a false alarm.

The company says it uncovered the issue through its own testing, and that it has no reports from current owners with the same issue. A software fix is two to three months away, according to the memo.

The Nest Protect debuted on November 19th, 2013, and it the second smart home product from Nest, following the popular Nest Learning Thermostat . Nest was acquired by Google on January 13 of this year.