Nest Thermostat stopped working, no thanks to a mysterious bug

January 15, 2016

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We've been saying that the smart home industry will be bigger this year but we also know that means more challenges to encounter. And since such devices and home appliances rely on a small computer, system, and software, we can expect some bugs. For some actually, an error could be so major that it would cause a great inconvenience to the users. That seems to be what happened to technology journalist Nick Bilton. Why, the New York Times' writer recently shared that their Nest Learning Thermostat left them cold one night when battery drained due to a software error.

In an article, Nilton revealed that they discoved the Nest was off one chilly night despite setting it at 70 degrees. He discovered the temperature at his baby's room was 64 degrees. There was an error and apparently, it didn't just happen to them. A lot of households in the US were affected based on the number of comments and reports making the rounds on social media and the web.

It was a software bug according to Matt Rogers, Nest's co-founder and VP for engineering. The Nest devices went offline because of an issue that was supposed to have been fixed already last December. Unfortunately, such error could result to more problems because a non-working system would mean people would be affected and the house being sent into a chill.

The thermostat didn't heat up as expected. The Nest team said they already fixed the issue and that users only need to follow steps to restart the thermostat. You can do it on your own but Nest can send an electrician to your home to fix it. The problem may be fixed but what happened can always happen again. You see, it's not only Nest that have seen similar problems. Other smart devices are prone to errors especially if they depend on WiFi connection or a special software.

Sadly though, customers can only complain and they can't file a lawsuit because of what's written on a service agreement. Arbitrations are preferred but must be made in San Francisco if you want to complain and discuss about the damages. We're assuming more similar problems will be experienced but for those relying on their smart home system, please understand that similar errors may be encountered. It's up to you to decide if you will fully depend on your devices or at least, have a backup plan in case something goes wrong.

VIA: NYT


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  • Mark Meredith

    STOP THE PRESSES! SEND IN THE NATIONAL GUARD! It was 64° last night!!!!! OMG… Is this really a worthy story? We keep our two Nests at 66° during the day and 55° at night…and we live in Colorado.

    • Paul

      The fact that the Nest thermostat’s battery drained due to a software bug is an interesting story. I was one of those users who woke up to a dead Nest thermostat, it was inconvenient since it was bitterly cold outside (15 degrees) and the fact that I have a 2 year old and 7 month old in the house – having your temperature at a comfortable setting is kinda important.

      • Mark Meredith

        Not saying it’s not an interesting story. Just was written as if the sky was falling and the author was running around waving his hands in the air in a dead panic. My Nests have been promptly updated, automatically, just as they are designed to do.

    • Joe

      TWO Nests???
      Aspen or Vail, right?

      • Mark Meredith

        LOL. No, just a normal house in a small-ish town about 20-miles North of Denver. One for the furnace in the attic, and one for the furnace in the basement. It’s a pretty typical configuration in a two-story house in our area.

  • nealanelson

    To the editor
    In this context, the headline should read “thanks to a mysterious bug”
    If something good happened but the bug wasn’t responsible, then the current headline would be correct.