Hoping to spur innovation, Nest joins forces with Google’s hardware team

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Since Google’s parent company Alphabet acquired Nest Labs for $3.2 billion in 2014, the smart appliance company has become well known in the smart home industry for its smoke and carbon monoxide detector, learning thermostat, and indoor and outdoor security cameras, such as the Nest Cam Outdoor. The Mountain View, California-based Alphabet recently announced that Nest will be joining Google’s hardware team, putting the smart appliance company under the helm of Rick Osterloh, the head of Google’s hardware division that generates Pixel smartphones and Google Home speakers, among other products.

According to a Google blog entry from Osterloh, the union will help both Nest and Google Hardware build on their current momentum. Nest sold more units in 2017 than it did during the previous two years combined. Google sold tens of millions of smart home products in 2017, and “more people use the Google Assistant to listen to their favorite music, control their connected devices, and get useful information about their day,” writes Osterloh.

The entire line of Nest’s smart home devices is already compatible with the Google Home, the company’s speaker and voice assistant which is sold at the Google Store for $99. Using the Google Home, users can call friends, play music, find out the weather, and control other smart home devices — all by voice command. By combining the minds of two teams which specialize in smart products, Google hopes to elevate its products above the competition (for instance, Amazon’s line of Alexa-enabled Echo products, including the Echo Dot, Echo Show, and Echo Plus).

“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. 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. We’ve had a head start on collaborating since our teams already work closely together, and today we’re excited to make Nest an integral part of Google’s big bet on hardware,” Osterloh wrote in the blog post.