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Google brings back Nest into the fold, teams up with hardware team

08 February 2018

The move unifies Google's growing hardware team, which designs smartphones, laptops and speakers, with Nest, which sells video doorbells, security cameras and thermostats that automatically adjust settings based on user behaviour. Google said that this is to "supercharge" the original mission of Nest, which is "to create a more thoughtful home" that will take care of the people within it. 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. Google and Nest, a company it acquired in 2014, already share supply chain operations, launch events, and packaging. Fawaz told CNET that the company has continued to make strides in the past few years. It just makes sense to be developing them together.

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Nest, while recently sidelined by flashier entries into the market from Amazon and Google, was among the progenitors of the connected home. The e-commerce company has managed to grab the lead by offering affordable AI solutions with the Alexa-Echo combo approach, which Google has to match by packaging Nest products, the Google Home smart devices, and its Google Assistant as the more compelling alternatives. For the most part Nest and Google existed separate of each other, where they each did their own thing. 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". Nest first created smart thermostats that used machine learning to help better regulate temperatures inside houses in order to save energy. Wednesday's announcement cites security, energy, cost-savings and hands-free assistance as some of the reasons to buy into the smart home ideal.

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Google brings back Nest into the fold, teams up with hardware team