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Nest Labs Tries To Smarten Up Smoke Detectors

By Michael Liedtke

The Nest smoke and carbon monoxide alarm is shown at the company's offices on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, in Palo Alto, Calif. Tony Fadell, a gadget guru who helped design the iPod and original iPhone while working at Apple, is counting on his latest innovation to prove that a smoke detector can be sleek, smart and appreciated. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (AP) – Smoke detectors frequently produce more headaches than useful warnings. The devices have an irritating habit of shrieking when there’s no cause for alarm, and always seem to wait until the middle of the night to chirp when their batteries run low.

Tony Fadell, a gadget guru who helped design the iPod and original iPhone while working at Apple, is counting on his latest innovation to prove that a smoke detector can be sleek, smart and appreciated.

The device, called “Nest Protect,” is the second product hatched from Nest Labs Inc., a startup founded by Fadell in 2010 in an attempt to infuse homes with more of the high-tech wizardry that people take for granted in smartphones. The Palo Alto, Calif., company has 270 employees and has raised tens of millions of dollars from investors that include Google Inc.’s venture-capital arm and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a venture capital firm with a long record of backing innovative ideas.

Besides sensing smoke, Nest Protect is designed to detect unsafe levels of carbon monoxide. That could broaden the square-shaped device’s appeal, especially in the growing number of states that require homeowners to install carbon monoxide detectors.

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Posted by FanningCommunications on Nov 1st, 2013 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response by filling following comment form or trackback to this entry from your site

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