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Second-gen Nest Protect adds smarts and safety features

The next smoke and carbon monoxide sensor from Nest features more finely tuned sensors and a few convenient extras.

2 min read

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Megan Wollerton/CNET

SAN FRANCISCO -- As part of a refresh of Nest's entire product line, at today's press conference in California, the company best known for its smart thermostat announced a brand-new version of its smoke detector. The second-generation Nest Protect is on the way, and gone are the days of desperately trying to silence a false alarm after you burn your dinner. With a swipe on your phone, you can regain the peace and quiet you need to keep cooking.

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The new sensor will hit the market next month and will retail for $100 or £89, the same as the first-gen Protect. (Nest doesn't currently sell in Australia, but the UK price converts to AU$180.) It'll even supposedly last an impressive 10 years, up from seven and far better than the industry standard of five years.

Outside of phone-based convenience, the sensor will also feature a split-spectrum sensor that can actually tell the difference between fast and slow fires. The device looks impressively overhauled.

As yet, there's no word of a return of the gesture control that proved to be a safety issue, but perhaps Nest views the app-enabled shut-off as a viable replacement. I'm also not convinced that the split-spectrum sensor can make that much of a practical difference. I'd imagine people tend to go as fast as they can during any sort of fire situation.

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James Martin/CNET

Minor tweaks round out Nest's new safety device: a mesh screen will keep bugs out. You can do a sound check on your phone, and the light on the Protect is supposedly brighter to give you more guidance in darkened or smoke-filled hallways.

As with the first Nest Protect, if it senses heat or Carbon Monoxide, it can send a signal to your Nest Learning Thermostat to turn off your thermostat and hopefully save lives. It also features a humidity sensor to help it differentiate between steam and smoke.

We'll fill you in with more details as we get them. Stay tuned.