New York Times columnist Nick Bilton investigates the malfunction with the Nest Learning Thermostat that has been reported by consumers nationwide. According to the article, the Nest software experienced a mysterious bug last week that caused the battery to drain, leaving home owners in the cold during the night. Pair that with the dropping winter temperatures, and you get unsatisfied consumers.
Nest claims that the problem was the result of a software update that occurred in December. The malfunctions caused many to experience concerns about the cold homes, such as fear of health problems for the elderly or infants, or worry about freezing pipes.
Nest has been responsive about the software bug, and says that the problem has been fixed for almost all of Nest's customers. Nest responded to BUILDER Magazine with an official comment regarding the glitch, saying:
"We are aware of a software bug impacting a small percentage of Nest Thermostat owners. In some cases, this caused the device to respond slowly or become unresponsive. We have released a software update that should improve this problem for the vast majority of impacted customers. On top of this, we are also planning additional fixes in the coming weeks to further improve performance. For customers who are still having problems, performing a manual restart of the thermostat will help. Nest customer support is also available 24/7 for assistance."
Fixing the thermostat required homeowners to follow a nine-step procedure to restart the device, which involved detaching it from the wall.
But, as Bilton points out, the problems with Nest highlights larger issues with connected home technology. Small glitches can cause huge problems, and technological advances in home automation can leave owners vulnerable if something goes awry.
I’ve heard dozens of other stories from people with connected homes who were locked out by malfunctioning door touch pads, or about newfangled security alarms going off in the middle of the night because a bug (one with wings, not a digital one) flew by.