Posts tagged Fail
Nest Labs’ sudden decision Thursday to halt sales of its smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors surprised users and drew mixed reactions. But what looks at first glance like a black eye was also the sharpest thing the company could have done.
CEO Tony Fadell posted an online notice to consumers warning them that its Nest Protect smoke detectors aren’t actually that smart after all. The company discovered a bug in its algorithm for the Nest Wave gesture, a convenience feature designed to let people disable their alarms by waving their hand. The glitch—which only affects the smoke detector, not the company’s flagship Nest thermostat—makes it possible for users to accidentally turn off the alarm, raising safety concerns.
Press reaction has been harsh. The Verge called it “a big setback.” The Next Web lauded the newly Google-owned company for “handling the issue admirably,” though in the same sentence, it also said the incident was an “awkward smudge on the company’s record….”
Such brickbats miss the point. Nest’s commitment to disclosure and proactive fixes deserves praise, particularly if it can help set a standard for other Internet of Things vendors as smart gadgets proliferate in the real world.
What Nest Did
Nest’s FAQ on the issue states plainly that no actual customers have reported the glitch; the issue was discovered in lab tests only. To minimize the risk of users randomly disabling their alarms, the company is issuing a software update that disables Nest Wave pending a fix; it’s also taken the extra precaution of halting sales and offering refunds to any customer who requests one.
These efforts stop short of a full-blown product recall, but Nest is clearly taking the matter seriously. Unlike other companies, it didn’t require any strong-arming. Nest came out on its own to fess up about the problems.
Tech products are prone to bugs and other unexpected issues. It’s a fact of modern life. And users often have to complain—at times loudly and vigorously—just to get a response from the company responsible. We do this when our phones don’t work the way they should, and suffer through nonsense like “you’re just holding it the wrong way.” Or when companies’ mapping cars wind up hoovering up our Wi-Fi data. Or when smart home products aren’t locked down enough to guard against hacking.
Why That Matters
All of these irritations have actually happened. Examples like the last one, though, are particularly disconcerting because they can actually put people at risk in their own homes.
A couple of months ago, Belkin drew fire for vulnerabilities in its WeMo line of smart home products. The main issue involved security holes and other weaknesses, including weak encryption and insecure authentication. But Belkin made things much worse by allegedly choosing to ignore them once outside researchers informed it of the problems.
That’s what officials at IOActive, the security firm that found the problems, told me. The security warning prompted a federally funded security agency to issue an advisory urging customers to immediately disconnect their WeMo devices.
Having problems is never good. But ignoring them is even worse.
Nest did the right thing in a difficult situation. And knowing the company cares about the integrity of its product—so much so that it’s willing to risk looking bad to resolve problems—should give it more credibility, not less. Because no product or service is flawless. And if you can’t expect perfection, at the very least, you want to know that the companies you trust to keep you safe and secure take the responsibility seriously.
Perhaps co-founders Fadell and Matt Rogers took some learning lessons from their time at Apple. Hopefully they’ll preserve this integrity as they begin life at Google.
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The Search Agency today released a new mobile scorecard report, which looked at the Top 100 Web-only retail sites to see how well they fared against key elements in a mobile user’s experience. The average score was about 2.8 out of 5.
View full post on Search Engine Watch – Latest
'Don't be afraid to fail' advise Brisbane SEO mavens
It was during this time, while they were working behind the scenes at Flight Centre, that they spotted a niche they hadn't explored .. what they saw as the lack of an affordable, personable and flexible search engine optimisation business, or SEO, in …
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Nearly 9 out of 10 businesses– 88%–say they will use social media as a marketing tool in 2014. That’s the highest percentage ever, according to eMarketer. It’s clear that businesses are fully embracing social media marketing as a way to engage with prospects and clients. And more importantly, perhaps, businesses are putting more effort and […]
The post 3 Groups That FAIL at Social Media Marketing by @LogMyCalls appeared first on Search Engine Journal.
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