Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Nest Protect

Nest already has a thermostat, so a smoke alarm seems like a next logical step; hence, Nest Protect. It’s a beautifully-designed product which manages to simplify something we all should have, but most of us find irritating. That isn’t surprising: smoke alarms are almost always sounding a false alarm, but we need them to let us know when there’s a legitimate emergency.

The ability to wave a hand underneath to clear the alarm is very smart, as is the early warning system which doesn’t start blaring an alarm immediately. It’s a typical Nest product: it uses the best technology available today to improve a long-forgotten product of yesterday, and it does so with style.

More than anything, though, I love that Nest has managed to make thermostats and smoke detectors kind of cool or, at least, interesting. They haven’t really changed much in the past twenty or thirty years. But the team at Nest is full of some of the best product designers in the world who seem able to update the electronics in the background.