New technology makes home appliances fun and saves lives
Easily my best buy of 2013, two Nest smoke alarms for the house – they are strangely wonderful.
Google think likewise and just bought Nest, the manufacturers, for $3.2bn, making Nest Google’s largest acquisition of a private company. The thinking behind their purchase is Google hoping to steal a march in the so-called “smart home” segment over rivals such as Apple and Microsoft.
What is there to like about a smoke alarm, you may well ask. Well, how about one that gently pulses green when you switch the lights off at home at night to confirm that it is healthy and later glows white as you pass it in the dark to help you see where you are going? Better still, how about a smoke alarm that talks to you softly (in unison with its partners around the house) when it detects smoke rather than panicking you immediately with a screech? This gives you the chance to gently wave at it with your hand (no flapping tea-towels) to point out that you have only burnt the toast again and it can relax.
They connect to each other, along with your smartphone and tablet, via WiFi and are really simple to install.
They are not cheap but you are comfortable you have made a wise purchase once installed and you feel comfortable and cocooned. Oh, and they are carbon monoxide alarms too.