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Smart-thermostat maker Nest sets sights on smoke detectors

The creators of the Wi-Fi-enabled self-learning thermostat have decided to reinvent the smoke detector as the next node in the company's home-network nexus.

Nest Labs' smart thermostat is the first product in what the company hopes will be an expansive suite of networked home electronic devices running Nest software. Nest Labs

Nest Labs, makers of the smart thermostat that optimizes heating and cooling of your home to conserve electricity, is moving onto smoke detectors in hopes that its software can become the nexus of your household devices.

The news was reported Tuesday by former Wall Street Journal writer Jessica Lessin, though details are sparse on the device's name, price tag, or release date.

Potential features include communication between the Nest thermostat and smoke detector for Wi-Fi sharing; hands-free functionality that could involve silencing the alarm with a hand wave; a subscription monitoring service; and the ability to detect carbon monoxide as well.

Nest Labs declined to comment on the existence of the product.

When former Apple employees Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers of the original iPod team unveiled the Nest thermostat -- a $249 device with an appropriately iPod-like control wheel -- nearly two years ago, it was hailed as a design marvel that thrust the idea of antiquated home technology into the smartphone era. But the company has been quiet since about expanding its product suite and has yet to open up about sales figures of its next-gen thermostat.

In conjunction with the thermostat, Nest Labs has an iOS and Android app that allows users to control the device remotely. Presumably, this functionality would be spread across Nest's entire network to smoke detectors and beyond.

After all, Rogers told TechCrunch that Nest wants to redesign "all the other unloved white plastic crap in your home." In that view, smoke detectors are a natural extension of thermostats.