Google has announced this week that it will integrate its 2014 acquisition and smart-home darling Nest with its own in-house Hardware team in a move intended to “supercharge Nest’s mission.”
In an announcement on Wednesday that, admittedly, took me by surprise, Rick Osterloh, Google’s Senior Vice President for Hardware and Nest’s CEO Marwan Fawaz revealed that the company was bringing Nest and Google’s Hardware teams together. “The goal is to supercharge Nest’s mission,” they wrote in a blog post published concurrently on Nest’s and Google’s ‘The Keyword‘ blogs. That mission? “To create a more thoughtful home, one that takes care of the people inside it and the world around it.”
The blog post makes it look as if the Nest brand might not be long for this world — “We’ve had a head start on collaborating since our teams already work closely together, and today we’re excited to make Nest an integral part of Google’s big bet on hardware.” However, in an interview with CNET about the announcement, Osterloh and Fawaz were careful to say that the Nest brand wasn’t going anywhere. According to Richard Nieva from CNET, the focus of their messaging was the unification will “supercharge Nest’s mission” — with the word “supercharge” being used at least five times in 40 minutes.
Google acquired Nest back in January of 2014 in a deal worth $3.2 billion in cash — not bad for a company that was only launched three years earlier. Nest’s groundbreaking and headlining Learning Thermostat was what drew the attention of Google, but the company has also successfully expanded into smart home software, cameras, doorbells, and smoke + CO alarms.
The blog post explained that while Nest has sold more devices in 2017 than it did in the previous two years combined, Google has been selling tens of millions of its own products for the home that make use of Google Assistant. The two will continue to “combine hardware, software, and services to create a home that’s safer, friendlier to the environment, smarter and even helps you save money — built with Google’s artificial intelligence and the Assistant at the core.”
In other words, future Nest products will come integrated with Google’s AI technology which will likely make every new Nest devices an access point for the Google Assistant. Nest has already been building the Assistant into its devices like the Nest Cam IQ indoor camera.
Apparently, the merger between Nest and Google’s Hardware team has been in the works for a few months, giving credibility to the November Wall Street Journal article suggesting the move would soon take place.
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