A bug has been discovered in Nest smart home thermostats that has left customers cold and annoyed after it stopped their heating from working.
The glitch was revealed on Nest’s community forums and social networks when users of the connected thermostat voiced their irritation and anger at the Google-owned company.
@nest what's going on with the server? My gen2 thermostat has been offline and low battery since this morning.— CTrinh (@CTrinhTweet) January 8, 2016
“Was working early this morning but when I got to work wife called saying no heat and the Nest is dead with blinking red light (dead battery) NOT HAPPY!” said a forum user called Svenn.
Shelleyp said: “Our Nests are just drained, completely, and non-responsive.”
A chilly January is setting in and the bug has come at a bad time for those looking forward to automatically pre-heated homes.
Nest claimed that it had fixed the service for 99.5 percent of its customers since being made aware of the problem.
Those still experiencing difficulties have been advised to reset the thermostat manually, for which Nest offers a nine-step guide.
But it appears that resetting the device is not completely effective. Forum poster Bernse said: “I tried the reset [and] it made no difference. It appears it still remembers the schedule now that the time and date are correct, but that's it.”
Nest wrote on the forum: “We're aware that some of our customers have been reporting issues with their Nest's battery getting low. We're currently looking into the issue, and we'll let you know when we have more information."
Nest has encountered such problems before, notably when a switch to British Summer Time in April caused the smart thermostat to fail.
The latest bug appears to have been caused by a software update in December that caused the battery to drain and fail to start the heating when required.
The glitch may have left users feeling cold on a winter’s morning, but serves as a warning to early adopters of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and smart home systems that are reliant on an internet connection and reliable software updates.
The growth of smart devices and IoT networks shows no sign of slowing down, but the technology trend is still in its infancy.
A lack of uniform or clear standards for IoT systems to ensure they deliver an acceptable level of service that can be reasonably expected means that vendors have released smart devices that operate in silos and are reliant on a single source of connectivity or control to function.
That makes service outages difficult to fix as back-up systems and connected devices are not available to switch over to in the case of a critical failure with a primary device.
However, this situation might be avoided by the introduction of Google’s Project Brillo IoT operating system, which could find its way into Nest products in the near future.
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