Google's Nest Protect Smoke Alarm Bashed By Google Employee for Relentlessly False Alarming

Google's Nest Protect Smoke Alarm Bashed By Google Employee for Relentlessly False Alarming

by Chris Thomas on 19 February 2015 · 2651 views

2 medium Googles Nest Protect Smoke Alarm Bashed By Google Employee for Relentlessly False AlarmingLast week a staff engineer at Google by the name of Brad Fitzpatrick became so disgruntled with his Nest smoke alarm's annoying false alarming that he decided to post a video of the glitch on YouTube, boldly titled “Nest Protect is a terrible buggy product.”

One would think that Brad's bosses at Google are not very satisfied with his decision to take the glitch public instead of reporting it to is colleagues at Google, which seems to be in direct contradiction of his job as an engineer for the company.

If this isn't a publicity stunt then we're quite sure the CEO of the nest unit Tony Fadell cannot be too happy with Brad's actions, and let's not forget the bold statements he made in the description and comment section of the video, which include:

Do NOT buy a Nest Protect” and “You cannot stop a Nest,” in the description. Or how about “Do NOT buy a Nest smoke alarm,” in the comments. He also posted on his Twitter feed that Nest Protect smoke alarms are “unhushable pieces of crap.”

Working Out the Kinks in a “Smart” Home

Nest products are designed with intention of bringing technologically “smart” devices into the home, to automate and simplify the management of home devices like thermostats, smoke alarms, etc.

All of these products are meant to take us one step closer towards the “Internet of Things,” in which we'll not only have smart homes, but smart cars, smart refrigerators, and even smart tables, and all of these devices will be connected to the internet and you'll be able to control them via WiFi, and we'll all live happily ever after.

We have now doubt that such a digital future is on the horizon, but this Nest smoke alarm issue is just one indicator that technology is still in the last 20-yard stretch of making the Internet of Things come to fruition without horrible glitches.

Was This Really a Publicity Stunt Though?

The fact that the person posting the video was an employee of Google has lead some conspiracy theorists to assume that this might actually be a publicity stunt disguised as a glitch report. If you're familiar with marketing or public relations, then you've probably heard the phrase “negative attention is better than no attention at all.”

Since last week the video has attracted more than 200,000 views, and while that may not sound like a lot in internet terms, consider the amount of people who've since learned about it by reading news stories rather than watching the video. An editor at Forbes even compared the video to a “dystopian nightmare.”

We imagine many readers would prefer not to annoy themselves by intentionally pressing play on a 6-minute video of repetitive beeping, so the number of people who've learned about Nest's smoke alarm is probably much higher than the number of people who actually pressed play. 

Another suspicious clue that this might be a publicity stunt is that the closing sentence of Brad's Twitter post was “Spread the word." However, it is worth noting that there have been other people complaining about the Nest Protect false alarming, so apparently the glitch is a real issue and was not fabricated solely for the purpose of the publicity stunt. Then there's also the argument that Google wouldn't have much to gain by further publicizing the shortcomings of one of their upcoming product. 

It is also possible that Google may be attempting to own up to the glitch, or maybe it is what it seems, a Google employee giving his honest opinion of the Nest protect. We'll let you decide, by watching the video below. If you understandably decide to save yourself the annoyance, we can tell you that the best part is when Brad finally puts the screaming smoke alarms into a plastic container, which he then put inside another plastic container, thereby muffling the sound of the alarms, which were still moaning "there is smoke in the Master bedroom."

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