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Meet the Nest Protect Smoke Detector

Palo Alto–based product design company Nest Labs—known for its slick Learning thermostat—announced its next venture today: the Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector. "This is a product category prime for disruption," says Maxime Veron, director of product marketing at Nest. In homes, most technology has been steadily updated—think appliances, security systems, lighting, heating and cooling—but smoke detectors haven't seen much innovation in the past few decades.

We can all identify with the qualms of these archaic devices: fussy batteries, false alarms, and ear-splitting noise (it is supposed to get your attention, after all). This version aims to make smoke detectors easier to use, more effective, and something to covet. "Things don't need to be ugly or dumb" says Veron. "This thinks before it speaks." Have a look at some of Nest Protect's features in the following slideshow.

Nest Labs's newest product is Nest Protect, a smoke and carbon monoxide detector retailing for $129. (Find it on Amazon.com and in Home Depot, Best Buy, and Apple stores.) Much like the comany's thermostat, the device seeks to improve upon technology and present it in a visually appealing package. (Some say it looks like an Apple TV or AirPort.)

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