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Gesture Flaw Makes Google's Nest Halt Sale of Smoke Alarms

4/7/2014 11:00 AM EDT
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Phluph
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Why?
Phluph   4/7/2014 1:01:22 PM
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would there even BE code in these to disable/delay such a critical function????? There is no reason for smoke/CO sensing & alarm to be turned off. Ever! If there is a fault with the device and the alarm sounds in error - so what. Replace the device, not silence it. If it going off because there IS a situation just get the heck out of the area.

tb100
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CEO
Re: Why?
tb100   4/7/2014 3:05:59 PM
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Actually lots of fire detectors have a disable button, that you can push if you accidentally burn your dinner and don't want to hear an annoying fire alarm while you open your front door to clear out the smoke. Often you'd have scrounge around for a step stool so you could reach the alarm to hit the button. In he mean time you're going deaf from the alarm.

Nest just made this common feature more convenient--too convenient: you could shut it off accidentally.

I seem to recall that the ones with a button, would beep every few seconds to let you know that the alarm is disabled.

Since the Nest is software controlled, I would think that there would be an easy fix: only allow shutting it off with a gesture if the alarm happens to be activated. And add something like the beep I mentioned, so you'd have a hard time going to sleep with the alarm disabled.

y_sasaki
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CEO
Compliance
y_sasaki   4/7/2014 4:11:56 PM
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I respect their decision to disclose this matter. I can see they have healthy compliance inside.

ewertz
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Manager
Re: Why?
ewertz   4/7/2014 5:17:48 PM
Clearly you don't use your oven for broiling.

I have a saying - "If your smoke alarm ain't goin' off, you ain't really cookin'."

 

jackOfManyTrades
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Perhaps I am just getting old?
jackOfManyTrades   4/8/2014 4:16:32 AM
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So, an advanced feature on a product that costs at least an order of magnitude more than its competitors from a company overvalued by several orders of magnitude doesn't work properly. Anyone want to buy one of my tulip bulbs?

MWagner_MA
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Manager
Are switches evil?
MWagner_MA   4/8/2014 7:09:57 AM
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Could someone explain to me why we are in such a rush to remove switches from designs?  This smoke alarm is a classic example of someone trying to solve a problem that doesn't exist.  Your alarm goes off - open a window and fan the unit for about 10 seconds --- whallla! (or get on a chair and push the button).  Is that so hard?

krisi
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CEO
Re: Are switches evil?
krisi   4/8/2014 10:35:37 AM
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There are many examples in home automation business a.k.a Internet of Things that belong to this category of products that attempt to solve the problems that don't exist...we should have a contest which idea is the most useless...I vote for an app that checks how many times your fridge was open in the last 24 hours...Kris

alex_m1
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CEO
Re: Are switches evil?
alex_m1   4/8/2014 11:55:32 AM
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MWagner: Why ? because there are some people who pay for solving these kinds of problems. And what's the alternative ? working on hard problems - which is harder and more risky.

MWagner_MA
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Manager
Re: Are switches evil?
MWagner_MA   4/8/2014 12:07:06 PM
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Even once they solve the problem -by the time they add the hardware to recognize the gesture, the MTBF of that system will ALWAYS be inferior (reliability wise) to a system that is only as complex as it needs to be to meet its functional requirements.

DrQuine
User Rank
CEO
Unintended consequences of gesture user interfaces
DrQuine   4/8/2014 12:18:06 PM
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This experience clearly indicates the issues associated with devices that respond to user gestures.  If I visit your house, how will I ever know what gestures may be misinterpreted? When we travel abroad, we get hints about inappropriate gestures in other cultures ... but I never expected to have to deal with the "culture" of the internet of things in such a manner.

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