Nest is coming home to roost at Google, after the latter decided to fold the smart home device unit back into its hardware team.
Google acquired Nest in 2014, but the pair were placed in separate orbits when the company reorganised into Alphabet a year later. Since then, Nest operated as its own company in Alphabet’s Other Bets segment. Now, Google is reclaiming Nest as it seeks to push further integration with its Google Assistant artificial intelligence platform and better compete with Amazon’s Alexa ecosystem.
Rick Osterloh, Google’s hardware SVP, and Nest CEO Marwan Fawaz explained in a blog post the goal is to “supercharge Nest’s mission” to develop a “more thoughtful home”:
“By working together, we’ll 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 2017, Nest products were launched in 12 new countries and the company expanded its product line beyond smart thermostats to include home security products like a video doorbell, outdoor security camera and alarm system. Alphabet reported Nest “turned in a strong holiday performance” in Q4 and, for the full year, helped drive Other Bets revenue up 49 per cent year-on-year to $1.2 billion.
CNET reported Nest shipped more than 11 million devices since its launch in 2011.