What’s Nest going to do, now that they’ve conquered the world of boutique thermostats? Take a read:
The answer is, of all things, a smoke detector. The $129 Nest Protect, launching this fall, is a handsome white square with rounded corners and an op-arty sunflower pattern. When smoke or carbon monoxide reaches a government-specified level of peril, the device performs like every other alarm. But what sets Nest Protect apart is its vocal warning before things get that bad. This feature has the potential to save lives: Millions of people intentionally disable smoke alarms because they’re fed up when the alert blares at the slightest hint of charred bacon. Nest’s verbal alert gives owners a chance to head off a heart-palpitating klaxon call when none is warranted, making it less likely they’ll rip out the batteries in disgust. And the Nest Protect will never wake you at 3 a.m. to inform you that the battery is low—instead, when the lights go down at bedtime, its gentle ring of light provides a status report. A green glow means all is fine; a yellow circle tells you that it’s time to replace the battery.
Casa Verde has a hole in our entry hall ceiling where a smoke detector once was. Damn thing wouldn’t shut up, and because of its stupid positioning over the stairs, ripping it down from halfway off the top step of the ladder was the best I could do. The worst part though is when one of the many other detectors starts running low on batteries, and emits a screech that’s so high-pitched, I have to stand under each and every one of them until I’m able to correctly locate the screeching culprit.
We haven’t been tempted enough to spend $250 on a thermostat, but I can tell you we’re going to blow a bloody fortune on these smoke & carbon monoxide detectors.