Nest Protect: Thermostat Start-Up Now Wants to Make Your Smoke Detector

Speaking of battery life, Fadell said that the AA-battery-powered Protect should last seven years before having to swap out the batteries. However, Nest cannot claim that officially yet since it needs to go through full certification. Additionally, the Nest Protect can wirelessly talk to the Nest thermostat if you have one. For example, if carbon monoxide is detected, the Nest thermostat will automatically turn off the gas furnace.

Safety in the Hands of a Start-Up?
It's a big bet on safety, but with safety comes risks. Yet Fadell said that he is not worried about the risks and the fact that he is now the maker of a gadget that can both save and end people's lives.

"It is about engineering process and removing risk. I'm not worried about that," he said when asked about the risks of the device. He added that in early 2014 versions of the Protect will work with home security system to alert fire and police departments.

"It's not about the Internet connected kettle..."

The Protect will be available in November for $129 at Apple, Best Buy, Amazon and Home Depot. That's a lot more than the average $79 detector, but Fadell said it's worth it for the improvements that make the product easier and better.

"Nest is all about finding those unloved products in the home. It's not about a new category, like the Internet-connected kettle," he said. "We are trying to take the things we ignore every day and making them better."

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