CNET First Look
Nest Protect smoke detector talks to you (hands-on video)This $129 smoke and carbon-monoxide detector works over WiFi to speak to other smoke detectors in your house. Accessed via a smartphone app, Nest Protect also reports emergencies when you're not home.
-This is the Nest Smoke Detector. It's a WiFi smoke detector. What does that mean? It means that there are batteries in here or you can wire it to your wall and it talks to other smoke detectors or to a Nest Thermostat over your home WiFi. It has six AA batteries in there, lithium batteries that let it run WiFi for a long period of time and work over your home network. Now, why on earth would you want a WiFi smoke detector? Well, Nest argument is that with a WiFi smoke detector, you can learn both from an app that works with this or from other smoke detectors in your house what's going on in different parts of your house. So, this smoke detector here is served as smoke detector reset. It's square not round. I was surprised to see that it was square and not round like the Nest Thermostat. But Nest really wants to make it look different. It will tell you when there's a problem before the signal needs to go up, before that blaring alarm that a smoke detector has and needs to go off. -Heads up. There's smoke in the dining room. -Has a couple of other neat features, it will-- it actually has a glowing light that will light the path with you walk underneath it when it sends its motion and it will also work with the Nest Thermostat, which is interesting. Right now, one of the challenges with the Nest Thermostat is that if you are in another room for a very long time, it might think that you're not in your house and then lower the temperature in the house to save energy. If you have both that thermostat and Nest smoke detectors, that smoke detector in your bedroom will tell the thermostat that you're actually still home and it will stay on. So, when you think about this, it's really an interesting beachhead into having sensors all over your house that interact with each other and can sort of collaborate. So, the Nest is not cheap. It is going to past $129 per unit. And really, you'll need a few units to take advantage of how these work, for a 3-bedroom house you're probably gonna need four or 5 to be above every bedroom door and in cooking areas and other places where there may be a smoke or carbon monoxide which this also test for. The idea is that with that investment you also get the sort of collaboration between the smoke detectors. So, the smoke detector can tell you when there is smoke in a different room, you're maybe in the den and the smoke detector in the den tells you that there's smoke in the kitchen. You can go to the kitchen and wave at the smoke detector to silence it. It's the first smoke detector with an app and it will work with the Nest app. The new apps will come sometime in late October. That means if you already have a Nest Thermostat, your software will be updated automatically and will be able to work with this and if you don't, you'll be getting that new 4.0 software running on your phone or your tablet so that you can control these remotely. New apps for this is gonna be available in late October and the devices themselves will come on to the market sometime in November. I'm Lindsey Turrentine for CNET Reviews and look for our full review of this product sometime in the coming weeks.