Nest Labs disables smoke alarm feature

| Saturday, April 5, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

The high-tech home monitoring device company Nest Labs is disabling a feature on its smoke alarms because of a risk that owners could unintentionally turn off the device.

Nest was acquired this year by Google Inc. for $3.2 billion.

Nest developed technology, called the Nest Wave, that allows owners to turn off the Nest Protect: Smoke + Carbon Monoxide alarm at a distance, among other things.

Founder and CEO Tony Fadell said on the company's website, however, that a “unique combination of circumstances” could delay an alarm going off in the event of a real fire.

The Nest Protect costs about $130; other smoke and carbon monoxide detectors typically range from $50 to $80.

Fadell said concerns about the product were raised during lab testing, and that there are no known instances in which customers have deactivated their alarm unintentionally.

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