Within the last week, both Sonos and Nest released new products. And, while each is somewhat compelling in its own right, I can’t say I’m in the market for either.
First, Nest has beautified and modernized another mundane home appliance. But the connected Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector runs a lofty $129 and, with 5 existing detectors, I don’t care enough to spend the kind of money needed to outfit my house. Further, unlike the Nest Thermostat, there’s no potential energy savings to offset and perhaps mentally justify the cost. Lastly, for reasons unknown, my Nest Thermostat has a tendency to reboot and the motion sensor hasn’t been very responsive — neither of which motivates me to entrust my safety to Nest, despite the Protect’s imminent UL endorsement.
Sonos, by comparison, has released a $199 speaker… which almost makes the multi-sensor Nest Protect appear a reasonable proposition. But Sonos has never been inexpensive and the connected speaker market has featured outrageous pricing across the board these last few years. But ya gotta pay to play, and like my TiVo Mini, I’ve been willing to drop the cash on the best solution irrespective of a company’s profit margins. If I hadn’t recently outfit a couple more rooms with the $299 Play:3, I’d have saved some coin and went with the new and more attractive Play:1.
But what if these two companies hooked up… The now discontinued Klipsch LightSpeaker is the kind of wireless multifunction product I’d be very interested in. I’ve got recessed bulbs all over the place and would absolutely love to repurpose those cans for whole-home music and rear-channel audio while simultaneously upgrading to dimmable LED lighting — all controlled via smartphone. Maybe throw in a few additional Nest Protect sensors to activate, adjust, or silence sound levels. And instead of IR and 2.4GHz communication, we’d move to WiFi (for control, streaming) and Zigbee (for inter-device communication). For that sort of solution, I’d surely open my wallet. Ah, to dream.