In a situation that epitomized bad timing, the Nest thermostat had a problem in the midst of a pretty serious heat wave affecting large swaths of the United States. In an issue first spotted earlier this week by TechnoBuffalo, the Nest app in some cases was unable to connect with its associated thermostats and smoke detectors. That meant that these products (the Nest Thermostat and Nest Protect) could not be accessed by way of their mobile app, making it impossible for their owners to control them remotely.
On Wednesday, Nest confirmed the issue. “We’re currently investigating an issue that has resulted in a small percentage of Nest Thermostats and Nest Protects appearing offline,” a statement on the firm’s website now reads. “While these devices can’t be controlled through the Nest app at this time, they’re online and continue to function, including working to set schedules, allowing for manual adjustments and alerting people to smoke and [carbon monoxide] events. We’re actively working to restore remote control of these devices through the Nest app.”
While the Nest bug didn’t completely render these smart home devices unusable, the problem does portend potential issues with smart-home devices. As more and more of our appliances become connected to the internet, we may be exposing ourselves to the risk of appliances that just don’t work due for issues that are more complex than mechanical failures. After all, just a month earlier, Nest experience a similar problem wit the Nest app, noting that customers were unable “to pair new products or log in to the Nest web or mobile app.”
Luckily, remote control on all Nest devices was restored relatively quickly, and as of Thursday, the company says that there are no issues currently affecting the devices. That said, the company urges customers to contact the Nest Support team should problems persist.