In a letter from Nest CEO Tony Fadell yesterday, the company announced it would stop selling its Protect fire alarm while it reconsidered a key feature of the device: the ability to "wave to hush" a warning alarm about smoke.
Fadell explains that the issue is with the alarm's motion detection system. With it, you're supposed to be able to silence a warning with the wave of your hand. But further tests have revealed that the feature could actually be triggered by accident during a real fire—resulting in a delayed response to actual danger:
We identified this problem ourselves and are not aware of any customers who have experienced this, but the fact that it could even potentially happen is extremely important to me and I want to address it immediately.
So for now, Nest will stop selling new alarms—at least until the company can straighten out the issue with wave. If you already have a Protect, know that the wave feature will be automatically disabled within the next day. If your alarm isn't connected to Wi-Fi, Fadell says it's essential you connect it soon in order to get the updated version of Nest's software.
It sounds as though sales won't be halted for long, though. The company is changing Protect's software, not its hardware. So while you won't be able to buy a new Protect until Nest has a fix in place, the updated device won't be very different from what's on the shelves right now.
If you do find yourself wanting your money back, Nest will also be offering full refunds. More information is on a Q&A about the issue here.