Following the news that Tony Fadell was leaving Nest, questions immediately surfaced about his successor Marwan Fawaz. In a letter (obtained by The Verge) sent to all Nest employees, Fawaz stated that the company is “not for sale” and will continue on its current product roadmap. He also reiterates that the company’s plan is to scale up and reach more customers.
After months of criticism over the state of Nest, Tony Fadell announced in a blog post today that he is leaving the company. The transition has apparently been in the works since last year and Marwan Fawaz, previously of Charter Communications, is the new CEO. Fadell wills stay on as an adviser to Alphabet and Larry Page.
Recent reports have painted a dire picture for Nest, with executives reportedly leaving, funding potentially on the verge of being cut, and much more. Now, a supposed Nest engineer has taken to Reddit to voice some frustrations. The engineer, who didn’t disclose his or her name, says that the company is “on deathwatch” thanks to “dire” sale and growth figures and no new innovation since the acquisition occurred.
According to a new report from Re/code, Alphabet-owned Nest is under-performing and its future at Google could be in jeopardy. The report, citing three people with knowledge of the matter, says that Nest generated $340 million in sales last year and while that’s solid for a company focused mainly on Internet-connected thermostats, it’s not as strong as what Google hoped initially.
A new report (paywalled) from The Information today told us that Google is working on a competitor to the Amazon Echo, but it also detailed in-depth Nest’s struggle as an Alphabet subsidiary and the apparent horror that was its acquisition of smart home security camera company Dropcam. Before eventually ending his time at the Alphabet company, Dropcam co-founder Greg Duffy apparently told Nest CEO Tony Fadell that he runs the company like a “tyrant bureaucrat”…
Tony Fadell, often called the “father of the iPod” and now CEO of Alphabet’s Nest, appeared on Bloomberg TV today to discuss his time at Apple, his current effort in the connected home industry and the future of mobility. He briefly talked about Google’s self-driving car project and confirmed he spent some time in the vehicles. He compared the experience to being driven by a “professional driver”. Expand Expanding Close
Two of the original team members behind Google Glass have insisted that the device still has a future for consumers, despite the company now pitching it exclusively at the enterprise market.
In an interview at the Computer History Museum, Thad Starner, a professor at Georgia Tech and a technical lead on Glass, and Greg Priest-Dorman, a systems administrator at Google X, said that the press had “misunderstood and overpromised” what Google was trying to achieve, reports Re/code … Expand Expanding Close
Nest founder and former Apple iPod lead designer Tony Fadell has intimated in a BBC interview that the decision to make an early version of Google Glass available for public sale may have been a mistake.
He said that while Google has always launched beta versions of its products and gathered feedback from users, there was a very big difference between software and hardware.
If you are only doing services based on electrons, you can iterate quickly, test it, and modify it and get it right. But when you are dealing with actual atoms – hardware – and you have to get manufacturing lines and it takes a year or more to develop that product, you better understand what it is and what it’s trying to do and specifically what it’s not going to do.
Customers have to spend money to buy those atoms. They want something that delivers value or you end up with a real disappointment and you can spoil the market.
He was, however, “very bullish” about the product, and believes it has a big future … Expand Expanding Close
Nest sent out press invitations last week to an event on June 17th, and we speculated that it might mean that the company is ready to announce its first Dropcam successor since being acquired by Google in June of 2014. Now, thanks to an FCC filing that we’ve uncovered (published to the FCC website on May 28th), it seems more likely that the company is getting ready to announce the next generation of its security camera… Expand Expanding Close
Tony Fadell, founder of Nest and current head of Google Glass, presented in March at TED2015 to share his thoughts and experience designing for Apple, Nest, and now Google. A few months after he first gave the talk, it has now been uploaded to YouTube and is open and viewable by everyone…
He doesn’t spend any time talking about Glass, unsurprisingly, but he does talk about now Google-owned Nest. He spends several minutes talking about how to notice things around you—things that have become daily pains—that have may be victim of habituation and worth finding a solution for.
Tony Fadell, one of many fathers of the iPod and founder of Nest, was put in charge of the Glass project when the company stopped selling the “Explorer Edition” of the device in January earlier this year. While it was assumed that this would mean that Google was giving the project a restart (and, in fact, Google confirmed this to be the case during its Q4 earnings call), Tony Fadell has recently came out publicly to reiterate this point…
Tony Fadell, CEO of Nest and head of Google’s Glass division, recently published an essay at The Wall Street Journal highlighting his thoughts on the future of the Internet:
Today, most technology is reactive. We ask a question and get an answer in return. It’s useful, but it’s also limiting. What if we don’t ask the right question? What if we don’t know we need to ask a question in the first place?
In the future, more conversations will happen proactively. In the case of my water-skiing accident, my smartphone could have combined existing information—including GPS data (on a lake, moving quickly), my medical history (four joint-related surgeries), the temperature of the environment (cold) and flexibility data from my fitness tracker—to predict that I was considering water skiing, calculate the odds of my getting injured, and advise me against it before I even got in the water.
The whole essay is wroth a read, with Fadell telling the story of how he tore a hamstring while water skiing and how a more connected Internet could have prevented it. He doesn’t make any comments on Glass, but he does call out Google’s Project Loon in reference to technologies that will help bring an Internet connection to the 4.4 billion people without one.
Google is hard at work designing the next hardware iteration of Glass, but not many details have surfaced regarding what the next generation be capable of nor what it will look like. Patents are definitely not the most reliable source of “leaks,” but sometimes they can give us a good overarching idea of the direction a company might be headed. A new patent published recently gives us yet another peek at what the next Google Glass might look like, and this looks more believable than anything we’ve seen up to this point… Expand Expanding Close
Google has said repeatedly since the company graduated the project out of Google[x] that new iterations of Glass will indeed be coming at some point in the future, and that the team behind the wearable display device is still “committed to Glass.” But how is Google going to approach the product going forward?
According to an adviser to Tony Fadell (the previous Apple product executive who now oversees the project), the device is not going to get the same public experimentation treatment that the first version did, and Fadell won’t be releasing the next version of Glass until it’s “perfect.”
After seeing the countless doomsday articles over the last couple of weeks, I can’t help but wonder whether or not Google regrets the way they announced the retirement of the Glass Explorer Program and graduation of Glass out of Google[x]. The headline of the announcement, reading “We’re graduating from Google[x] labs” was nothing like the headlines of those that reported the news. Instead of reporting that the device was “graduating” out of Google’s experimental product lab and into its own division (under Tony Fadell’s leadership no less), headlines reported of Glass being a “failed innovation,” as being “killed off,” and blatantly called the project “dead”.
Google didn’t say any of these things. Sure, there is absolutely room to criticize various aspects of the Explorer Program, but Google is moving on from that. That’s what this announcement was about. Google has decided to put all of its resources and focus into the next generation of the Glass project, and meanwhile the world is claiming its demise before what’s next has even been seen. I understand that many objections against Glass are moreso objections against head-worn computing in general, but arguments claiming the overall death of the augmented reality experiment I believe are also premature. And not only is augmented and holographic head-worn computing not dead, but evidence points to it being on the brink of a very real evolution.
Update: Google has made an official blog post detailing the changes to the Glass project. More information below.
It looks like Google may finally be preparing Glass for primetime as a number of changes around the company’s heads-up display product were revealed today. Most notably, the Glass project will be moving from the experimental Google X group to its own unit under the leadership of Tony Fadell, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Next of note, Google will end the current run of its Glass Explorers program on January 19th, removing the current version of Glass from sale to individuals; however, the WSJ includes that businesses and developers interested in purchasing Glass can still do so through an application process. The Glass at Work program, which has continued to grow, will live on beyond the Explorer Program’s imminent demise. Expand Expanding Close
The system as it is currently said to exist allows users to issue voice commands to a smartphone to change settings on the Nest lineup or change a house’s temperature based on the owner’s proximity (so the air comes on when you’re almost home). However, the “Works with Nest” program will soon be expanded to support third-party remotes and appliances.
When Google acquired Nest, the company also picked up the talents of the its CEO, former Apple executive Tony Fadell. Getting settled in at Mountain View, the man who once oversaw the development of the iPod is reportedly making moves at the search giant. According to The Information, Fadell is now is now top dog at Google’s hardware division.
If you love the idea of smart home technology like Nest, but are concerned about the cost of replacing half the appliances and devices in your home, Nest CEO Tony Fadell has some good news. Speaking at the Re/Code conference, he said that while “you need new hardware to allow things to flourish,” there are many things that could be done with software alone.
Just like your smartphone has many many apps on it, we think there [could be] many apps in your home but you don’t necessarily need new hardware …
Those who expressed concern about Google’s acquisition of Nest may have have been right: the company has told the Securities and Exchange Commission that it may choose to serve ads on “refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches, to name just a few possibilities.”
The WSJ reports that Google made the statement in support of its contention that it shouldn’t have to break out ad revenue from mobile devices … Expand Expanding Close
Nest—which was recently acquired by Google—pulled its Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide detector from sale today and issued a letter from Tony Fadell, the company’s CEO about a serious potential safety issue that arose in testing. Nest is advising existing owners that a feature on the device that allows users to disable the detector with the wave of a hand will be automatically disabled.
During recent laboratory testing of the Nest Protect smoke alarm, we observed a unique combination of circumstances that caused us to question whether the Nest Wave (a feature that enables you to turn off your alarm with a wave of the hand) could be unintentionally activated. This could delay an alarm going off if there was a real fire.
Tony Fadell, most known for his role in designing Apple’s iPod and current head of now Google-owned smart appliance company Nest, and Virgin’s founder and chairman Richard Branson have teamed up in an imaginative and rather convincing spoof video announcing a pretend partnership for a product called Total Temperature Control.
The idea is that every seat on Virgin’s airline has its own Nest smart thermostat to control the seat’s environment. It’s almost believable enough until it’s revealed that temperature options include destinations… see for yourself below.