Nest will be Google’s core hardware team, “big plans” and generous resources are on the table – report

January 30, 2014
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    tony fadell nest

    Tony Fadell, showing off Nest

    Image credit: LeWeb

    Nest, the connected home company that Google bought for $3.2 billion, is said to become the company’s core hardware unit following the sale of Motorola to Lenovo.

    TechCrunch reports that Nest, led by industry veteran Tony Fadell, will work not only on smart thermostats and other home appliances, but also on Google’s future gadgets. According to the website, Google has “big plans” for Nest, which will remain intact as a separate division inside the company, with as many resources as it needs at its disposal.

    When news broke of the Nest acquisition two weeks ago, many speculated Google was trying to bolster its smart home strategy, after Android @ Home turned out to be vaporware. While that may be true, according to TechCrunch’s sources, the biggest draw for Google was actually the excellent hardware team that Tony Fadell assembled at Nest.

    Fadell is known as one of the key people behind the creation of the iPod, the gadget that revolutionized music consumption and laid the foundation for the advent of modern smartphones. The former Apple exec masters hardware and software, and more importantly, the combination of the two, a quality that is visible in its products. Many hardware experts formerly with Apple and other big players have made the jump to Google with the Nest acquisition, and these people are reportedly going to be Google’s crack team of hardware wizards, now that Motorola is officially out of the picture.

    Google would reportedly like Fadell to create devices “that would make more sense for the company”, though it’s not clear what that means for now.

    Smart homes, wearables, and more

    To be clear, Google is still very much interested in smart homes, which CEO Larry Page publicly identified as one of the areas of focus for the next years. Here’s the relevant excerpt from the blog post penned by Page explaining the sale of Motorola to Lenovo:

    This move will enable Google to devote our energy to driving innovation across the Android ecosystem, for the benefit of smartphone users everywhere. As a side note, this does not signal a larger shift for our other hardware efforts. The dynamics and maturity of the wearable and home markets, for example, are very different from that of the mobile industry. We’re excited by the opportunities to build amazing new products for users within these emerging ecosystems.

    Google bought Nest for $3.2 billion, a little more than what Lenovo paid for Motorola, which is $2.9 billion. In the grand scheme of things, which includes a strategic alignment with Samsung, Google looks to be getting its house in order. Under Page’s command, the company is reshaping itself for a new set of objectives. Domination in smart homes and wearables is the most obvious target, with artificial intelligence, deep learning, and robotics shaping out to be Google’s defining work for the next years.

    As for consumers, having Fadell oversee devices like the Nexus line, Chromebooks, Chromecast, and who knows what else, is certainly positive. Google mastered software design with Matias Duarte at the helm, and Fadell could do the same for future hardware.

    Comments

    • Shark Bait

      Talk about a big change, nest is their new toy, bye bye moto !

      • wezi427

        I hope it’s more than a toy to them. I know that there have been reports of the Nexus line coming to an end, but it would be nice to see what this company can do.

        • Shark Bait

          Me too, it seems a good team that could make great things. Its was just a joke about how quickly they got bored with their old toy (moto) after they bought nest

          • wezi427

            I liked Motorola. I’ve had several of their phones since the year 1999. They made a quality products and I’m sure that will continue. I’m skeptical of Lenovo allowing Motorola to continue the recent progress over the long run.

            • Shark Bait

              Me too, it all depends if they allow them to carry on as they are, or they might gut the company and move everything to China, in which case it will be ruined !

              I think moto would be better in the hands of a western company

            • wezi427

              I agree. I try to support American companies, even though like most products it wasn’t made here. The Moto X was assembled here, at least some jobs were created. I have a feeling those employees will be getting a pink slip within the next 2 years.

            • Shark Bait

              I’m not american but I would rather support a western mobile company. I have nothing against Asian companies but Id just rather support jobs as home. Now Nokia , palm , moto and blackberry are gone the only western mobile company is apple, and I can’t buy apple !!

            • wezi427

              Statistically speaking most people go from Android to Apple, I’m one of the exceptions. Apple does make a quality product though. Android is far and away better, Apple is too restrictive. The Nexus line is a great competitor to Apple, but how much longer will they be producing the Nexus line? All of the recent news isn’t making it look good.

    • Jayfeather787

      First: Skynet has begun. I have seen that comment a lot, but it’s funny.
      Second: This looks really cool. I am looking forward to this year. I want to see more affordable everything, like wearables, *cough, google glass, cough*.

    • MasterMuffin

      I don’t know if this Nest thing is cool or not, but now that Motorola isn’t Google’s anymore, they can make the next Nexus because nobody could accuse Google of favoritism!

      • Obi Alfred

        Not if Google scraps the Nexus Program..

    • Shark Bait

      Wow just reread “Google bought Nest for $3.2 billion, a little more than what Lenovo paid for Motorola, which is $2.9 billion”. That’s crazy!!

      Great reporting on this BTW!

    • Luka Mlinar

      I believe “wearables” will be the biggest flop of the 21 century. Like voice command was in the 90′s. Strangely enough most CEO’s never got the memo e.g. Dennis Woodside. Most of my friends have a small collection of expensive watches they never wear. Few of my friend bought that led Wi-Fi T-Shirt that they put on once and never again. This is why we want more and more feature on our phone; because we can’t be bothered to use two gadgets when one will suffice.

      • seeingwhite

        Wearables may see a dip in initial popularity, but the seamless integration of computing devices and people is the future of personal tech.

    • Victor Who

      They basically traded Motorola for Nest.

    • Guest123

      Google will play with Nest right up till Samsung says, stop competing with us — we want to own the living room and all connected devices — and google will tuck tail, sell Nest off just like Motorola, and go back to their services.

      Wash. . . rinse. . . repeat.

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