“…our products make our homes a little brighter, a little warmer, a little more welcoming.”
Is this the new CEDIA tagline or maybe the new slogan for a custom audio video firm? No, this is a quote from Tony Fadell’s January 13 blog post regarding Goggle’s $3.2 billion-dollar acquisition of Nest Labs.
"Google will help us fully realize our vision of the conscious home and allow us to change the world faster than we ever could if we continued to go it alone. We've had great momentum, but this is a rocket ship. Google has the business resources, global scale, and platform reach to accelerate Nest growth across hardware, software, and services for the home globally."
And this announcement comes right on the heels of the 2014 International CES show, and I’m guessing, not on accident.
Fadell and Nest…We all know the history. Fadell is the father of the iPod, he leaves Apple to go create new products that make our lives’ better. Just last year he was the most popular keynote speaker at CEDIA EXPO, pressing upon us the importance of keeping it simple and that “just because we can… doesn’t mean you should.”
What Nest has created that Apple has not are devices that give you information without asking. More than information, their products learn your life and adapt to it, for they are things that “know.” Nest also plays well with others and now has more than 25,000 certified partners (I just signed up last week). Can we say the same for any other automation products on the market?
Their smart products surpass the ridiculous and move onto safety and energy efficiency. Who needs a washer that emails you? I own a company and have two kids, constantly struggling to do it all and find balance. Getting an email from my washer, dryer, or dishwasher does not improve my life in the least. Knowing my furnace stopped working, or my house is too cold, that is another story. This is what Fadell gets that others do not. This is what Google wanted (and needed). And their products have that Apple look to them. They have clean lines, something that you don’t mind seeing in your home.
Google, which incorporated in 1998, is known to the general public as a search engine, and it currently does a billion searches a day. In 2010, they partnered with Sony to bring us Google TV and then Android@Home in 2011. We’ve watched them add on features that incorporate life with Google Now and Google Wallet. Google has been breaking free from the computer and jumping onto other devices for years. They’ve done this by launching their own smart devices in tablets, phones, and even glasses (the beginning of wearable tech). Is it any surprise they would now connect all the information they know about us (think of everything you’ve ever Googled), and connect that information with proven products that have made clients happy around the globe?
Some say the connected home will never exist, for there is no one way for devices to communicate, no one player pushing the concept forward. Today, the story has changed. Instead of creating technology to sell products (TV manufactures, I'm looking at you), we have two powerhouse companies filled with free thinkers who want to make our lives better, and sell more products because of it. This is what made Apple, which raised Fadell, which Google just purchased. See the importance? Needless to say, as a custom AV integrator, watch, listen, and pay attention to this partnership. They have the power to change the course of the AV world and the connected home as we know it.
Heather L. Sidorowicz is project manager/designer for Southtown Audio Video in Hamburg, NY.