Nest finally joins Google's hardware team

Nest finally joins Google's hardware team

The rumoured merger of the Nest and Google hardware teams is a reality today with Nest CEO Marwan Fawaz announcing the merge on the Nest blog. It will be interesting to see how Nest's smart home products will evolve under Google's more direct control.

From connected light bulbs, to plant sensors, to smart locks, and beyond, smart home tech is growing and evolving rapidly.

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Nest device sales represented a big chunk of revenue for Alphabet's "Other Bets" division, which brought in $1.2 billion past year. Google hasn't released sales figures for its Google Home speaker line, but various research firms have estimated Amazon controls about 70 percent of the USA smart speaker market, which means Google has a lot of catching up to do. "It just makes sense to be developing them together", Osterloh told CNET. Nest operated on its own as part of the establishment in 2015 of holding company Alphabet, which also explored selling the firm in 2016, Reuters reported. According to CNet, the Nest branding isn't going anywhere anytime soon, but it doesn't seem insane to envision a time when every piece of Google hardware is sold under its own name, in the interest of simplifying things for customers. Bringing Nest under the same umbrella could offer better integration with Google devices and services. The goal is to supercharge Nest's mission: to create a more thoughtful home, one that takes care of the people inside it and the world around it.

Nest's current CEO, Marwan Fawaz, will now report to Rick Osterloh, a former Motorola executive who is overseeing Google's fledgling hardware division. "The success Amazon Echo had in the USA over the holidays and at CES likely also had to do something with this move". But Google now wants to ensure its voice assistant works with both new and existing, non-Google-Assistant-compatible products.

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