Nest joins the Google Hardware team to build future products with AI

Bill Rogers
February 8, 2018

Home automation appliance producer Nest, which has been operating as a subsidiary of Alphabet since 2015, is going to become part of Google once again as part of the tech giant's hardware team. Now the company, which Nest CEO Marwan Fawaz claims has shipped over 11 million devices to date, is being brought back into Google, and that means Google is about to get a lot more intimate with your home.

Several years ago, Google acquired Nest, a company that specialized in smart and connected home devices like thermostats, smoke detectors, and so on.

"The goal is to supercharge Nest's mission", Google said in a Wednesday blog post. It's responsible for products like the Pixel and Google Home. 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 United States smart speaker market, which means Google has a lot of catching up to do. It just makes sense to be developing them together. In other words, they're rolling Nest under the Google/Alphabet umbrella after all.

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From the Google's Hardware devision, the company will produce more Pixel phones, Pixelbooks, Smart speakers and more in the future.

"We've leveraged AI capabilities from Google in the past, especially in the computer vision space and facial recognition", Fawaz added to CNET. At the time, Nest founder and Chief Product Officer Matt Rogers wrote in an FAQ that Nest's privacy policy "clearly limits the use of customer information to providing and improving Nest's products and services". And it created its "Works with Nest" program - which includes both Google Home and Amazon Alexa - an assemblage of products that can pair up with its own.

Nest rejoins Google to push more AI-based smart security systems, according to the announcement made by the companies in November. That move isn't surprising now that Amazon, Google and now Apple all offer standalone voice-enabled wireless speakers.

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