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Nest Protect learns how to tell steam from smoke

There’s nothing more annoying than your smoke alarm going off when things get a little steamy, but now the smart folk at Nest have taught their alarm to tell the difference. 

Nest says it will roll out the update, including steam/smoke detection over the next few weeks, bringing smoke alarm technology bang up to date using the device’s inbuilt humidity sensor and new algorithms in the software.

The company said it road-tested the new tech in real homes rather than a lab to make sure it really does work in a regular home environment. 

The updated Nest app allows you to monitor your history and plan an escape route
The updated Nest app allows you to monitor your history and plan an escape route

Nest said: “A lot of things get better over time. Leather jackets, your kids piano playing, pretty much all technology. Sadly, that hasn’t applied to smoke alarms. The alarm that’s been on your ceiling for 10 years hasn’t gotten better.

“But Nest Protect can. Unlike other alarms, it updates automatically, getting improved software and new features.”

New features in the update include a Safety History in the app that allows you to see what caused Heads-Up or Emergency Alarms over the last 10 days so you can avoid this happening again in future.

What To Do will help you plan how to escape in an emergency and will provide exercises to help you and your family conduct fire drills. You can also choose to add things like emergency contacts like family members, neighbours and friends to be sent a message should Nest sound the emergency alarm. 

This is something you could already do with Nest and the right IFTTT channels, but the new update will put everything in one arguably more convenient place. 

As well as this, the carbon monoxide detection element of Nest Protect has also been souped up. 

If the CO alarm is sounded, Nest will now let you can see how much of the harmful gas is present in the area and monitor how long the levels take to return to normal. This data could prove useful in identifying the source of the leak and possibly resolving any disputes you may have with a landlord. 

Other updates to Nest Protect include the ability to connect to a hidden wireless networks, if you don’t like broadcasting your SSID. The Pathlight feature – which triggers the smoke alarm’s light ring to glow when you walk past it – can now also be controlled manually from your phone, effectively turning it into a nightlight for your kids. 

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