Google is doubling down on its recent shift to hardware with the announcement that it is combining its internal hardware team with that of Nest, which Google acquired in 2014.
As Fast Company reports, in the years immediately following the acquisition, there was little that tangibly changed in Nest’s work on smart home products like cameras and smart thermostats, but last year’s launch of the Google Home devices started to change things. There was suddenly a strong incentive for the Google and Nest teams to establish interoperability between Google’s smart home hub devices and Nest’s peripherals, and that of course led to strengthened collaboration.
Now, in a blog post announcing the internal reorganization, Google says their 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.” That will entail more smart home devices “built with Google’s artificial intelligence and the Assistant at the core.”
It’s part of what Google itself calls its “big bet on hardware,” with the company having launched not only smart home hub devices but also its own smartphones over the past year and change. But it’s the former that are really starting to see a strong ramp-up in excitement, with various companies including Samsung and even Facebook currently working on their own smart home products. Everyone wants to make their device a central component of the smart home device ecosystem, and with its Nest assets, Google is in a pretty strong position to do that, and is clearly focusing its resources on that effort.