Tony Fadell Stories June 8, 2016

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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.

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Tony Fadell Stories June 3, 2016

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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.

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Tony Fadell Stories April 4, 2016

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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.

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Tony Fadell Stories March 30, 2016

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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.

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Tony Fadell Stories March 29, 2016

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In The Information‘s recent article about Nest and continued strife within the Alphabet subsidiary following a struggle-filled acquisition of Dropcam, Tony Fadell was dismissive of any blame for the departure of more than 50 Dropcam employees and their leader, Greg Duffy. “A lot of the employees were not as good as we hoped,” he said. He went on, saying Dropcam was “a very small team and unfortunately it wasn’t a very experienced team.”

Obviously this didn’t sit well with the former CEO of the San Francisco-based security cam company, who left Nest after a feud with the father-of-the-iPod over his brash ‘tyrant bureaucrat’ leadership style. And he took to his Medium blog this morning to chime in…

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Tony Fadell Stories March 24, 2016

Tony_Fadell.jpg (3692×3880) 2015-05-19 12-03-20

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”…

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Tony Fadell Stories November 4, 2015

Google driverless car prototype 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 full story

Tony Fadell Stories August 4, 2015

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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 full story

Tony Fadell Stories July 24, 2015

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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 full story

Tony Fadell Stories June 8, 2015

PRO

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 full story

Tony Fadell Stories June 3, 2015

Nest founder Tony Fadell talks design and habituation in newly-uploaded Ted Talk

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.

It’s interesting and worth a watch:

Tony Fadell Stories May 19, 2015

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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…

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Tony Fadell Stories April 27, 2015

Google Glass head Tony Fadell talks Internet of things, proactive technology in recent essay

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.

Tony Fadell Stories April 22, 2015

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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 full story

Tony Fadell Stories February 5, 2015

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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.”

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Tony Fadell Stories January 27, 2015

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Be sure to also read part 2: Don’t believe the unbelievers (Part 2); Google Glass has succeeded through Glass at Work

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.

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Tony Fadell Stories January 15, 2015

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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 full story

Tony Fadell Stories November 27, 2014

From 9to5Toys.com where we are rounding up all the best Black Friday deals we have two huge headliners on the almost never discounted Nest product line (that Google picked up along with iPod-father Tony Fadell earlier this year):

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The Nest Learning Thermostat (2nd generation) for $199 shipped. That’s $50 below list and the best price we’ve ever seen.

You can find it at Amazon, Best Buy, Lowes and Abt for $199 for a limited time.

  • The Nest Learning Thermostat remembers what temperatures you like, turns itself down when you’re away and can be controlled from your smartphone, tablet or laptop
  • Auto-Schedule creates a personalized schedule for your home by remembering when you adjust the temperature
  • Auto-Away automatically turns Nest thermostat down when there’s nobody home so you don’t waste energy heating or cooling an empty house
  • Remote control Nest thermostat over Wi-Fi from your smartphone, tablet or laptop
  • Energy History shows you how much energy you’ve used and what affects your energy use most

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The Dropcam Wireless HD Video Monitoring Camera can be found for $99.99 with free shipping. That’s $50 below list and the lowest price we have ever seen on this cloud-based camera/recording system.

Available for $$99 ($50 off) at Amazon and Best Buy.

With a 107° degree field of view and 4x zoom, Dropcam keeps you connected with people, places and pets in sharp 720p HD video.

  • 60 Second Setup – Use your computer to find your Wi-Fi network, live stream in under a minute.
  • High Quality Video – Get into the details with 720p high-definition video.
  • Fast and easy setup – online and securely streaming 720p HD video in 60 seconds.
  • Field of View – 107 degrees diagonal, plus Night Vision and Zoom, means you don’t miss a thing.
  • Cloud Video Recording (CVR) – Review footage and make clips with optional secure offsite recording.
  • Stay connected with Two-Way Talk, Intelligent Alerts, Scheduling and Mobile & Web apps.

Head over to 9to5Toys for the Best Black Friday deals on the web. A little more background on Nest: expand full story

Tony Fadell Stories June 23, 2014

Google CEO Larry Page (centre) with Nest co-founders Matt Rogers amd Tony Fadell (photo: technologyreview.com)

Google CEO Larry Page (centre) with Nest co-founders Matt Rogers amd Tony Fadell (photo: technologyreview.com)

Google and Nest have big plans for their partnership, the Wall Street Journal reports. The two companies plan to team up to offer a development platform around the Nest learning thermostat and Nest Protect smoke/CO detector in what appears to be the next step in Google’s connected home efforts following the Mountain View company’s $555 million acquisition of Dropcam a few days ago.

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.

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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.

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Tony Fadell Stories May 29, 2014

[protected-iframe id=”ee8f89c8e8a919fbb2f5c26911077925-22427743-8994189″ info=”http://player.theplatform.com/p/PhfuRC/9RGhkvepi1us/embed/select/h_PJWCPpI_2K” width=”640″ height=”360″ frameborder=”0″]

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 …

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Tony Fadell Stories May 21, 2014

 

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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 full story

Tony Fadell Stories April 3, 2014

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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.

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Tony Fadell Stories March 31, 2014

Richard Branson and Tony Fadell

Richard Branson and Tony Fadell

Okay, so Maps isn’t the only Google property kicking off April Fool’s Day on March 31st this year.

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.

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Tony Fadell Stories March 23, 2014

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Photo via the Sunday Times

Last week it was Apple Design VP Jonathan Ive. This week, the Sunday Times is talking to Google’s Tony Fadell (paywall) about his work at Nest, which was acquired by Google earlier this year, the future of his career, and more.

A few choice quotes have been highlighted by Rob Richman. In one, Fadell refutes the idea that money ($3.2 billion to be exact) was the driving force behind the Google buyout, saying that both companies working together can produce much bigger results than they could alone:

This was not a financially driven transaction. When you marry for money, it almost never works. We both believe we have something special and we know what it takes to make it happen around the world.

Regarding privacy and whether Nest would turn over its user data to Google, Fadell said:

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Tony Fadell Stories February 12, 2014

Google completes Nest acquisition, promises more innovative home devices to follow

Google has confirmed in a regulatory filing with the SEC that it has completed its $3.2B acquisition of Nest Labs after the deal was officially cleared by the FTC. The company revealed that it had previously held a 12 percent stake in Nest.

It has been rumored that the Nest team will form Google’s core hardware design group, with an unlimited budget. Google has issued only a brief statement on the reason for the buy-out, promising more home devices to follow.

We expect that the acquisition will enhance Google’s suite of products and services and allow Nest to continue to innovate upon devices in the home, making them more useful, intuitive, and thoughtful, and to reach more users in more countries.

Tony Fadell Stories January 30, 2014

Google CEO Larry Page (centre) with Nest co-founders Matt Rogers amd Tony Fadell (photo: technologyreview.com)

Google CEO Larry Page (centre) with Nest co-founders Matt Rogers amd Tony Fadell (photo: technologyreview.com)

Tony Fadell and the rest of the Nest team will become Google’s “core hardware group,” working on a variety of hardware projects and given access to “as many resources as it needs,” according to an unnamed source cited by TechCrunch.

The new division will still work on hardware devices, but not necessarily thermostats or smoke detectors. In fact, Google would like Fadell to work on gadgets that make more sense for the company. Will it be a phone or a tablet? It’s unclear for now […]

When it comes to budget, Google is willing to let the Nest team use as many resources as it needs. In other words, the company is getting serious about consumer hardware, and Motorola was just a false start …  expand full story

Tony Fadell Stories January 20, 2014

Photo: websummit.net

Photo: websummit.net

Nest CEO Tony Fadell has responded to data privacy concerns expressed after the company was acquired by Google, stating that there have not yet been any changes to the data collected by the smart thermostat and smoke detector, and that any future changes would be both transparent and opt-in.

At this point, there are no changes. The data that we collect is all about our products and improving them.

If there were ever any changes whatsoever, we would be sure to be transparent about it, number one, and number two for you to opt-in to it …  expand full story

Tony Fadell Stories September 10, 2013

Apple built Google Glass-like prototypes, says former Senior VP of iPod division

Tony Fadell, the Nest CEO who was Senior VP of Apple’s division from 2006 to 2008, says that Apple built prototypes of a similar device to Google Glass but “didn’t have time” to turn them into actual products.

Interviewed as part of Fast Company‘s Oral History of Apple Design series, Fadell said:

At Apple, we were always asking, What else can we revolutionize? We looked at video cameras and remote controls. The craziest thing we talked about was something like Google Glass. We said, “What if we make visors, so it’s like you’re sitting in a theater?” I built a bunch of those prototypes. But we had such success with the things we were already doing that we didn’t have time.

From the description, the prototypes sound rather more like virtual reality headsets than Google Glass, so there may be some exaggeration going on here. But it wouldn’t be a tremendous surprise to find that Apple has toyed with almost every tech idea under the sun: it has the resources needed to experiment at will.

The notion that Apple didn’t pursue the concept for lack of time seems rather more fanciful: it’s not like the company couldn’t have run out and hired a complete team for the project had it wished to do so.

Apple has always had a philosophy of focusing all its efforts on a very small number of products. Back in 2011, iPod, iPhone and iOS product marketing head Greg Joswiak described “saying no” as one of Apple’s four keys to success.

It means saying no, not saying yes. We do very few things at Apple. We are $100bn in revenue with very few products. There are only so many grade A players. If you spread yourself out over too many things, none of them will be great.

Tim Cook said in May of this year that broad range appeal for Google Glass was “tough to see.”

Tony Fadell Stories September 17, 2012

You will soon control the color of your energy-efficient LED light bulbs with your iPhone/Android [Video]

[protected-iframe id=”daad12569d07f2c915d6d3399237d9a5-22754319-20587613″ info=”http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/limemouse/lifx-the-light-bulb-reinvented/widget/video.html” width=”640″ height=”495″ frameborder=”0″]

Oh, Kickstarter. It is a primary place where tech lovers’ dreams have an opportunity to become reality; it not only promotes some of the most innovative ideas, but it also makes those of us in the real world more anxious for a gadget-filled tomorrow. Enter LIFX.

LIFX’s, well, life on Kickstarter is only nearing the 48-hour mark, but the reinvented light bulb already surpassed its set goal and hit $402,707 (as of press time) worth of pledges. In a nutshell: LIFX is a “Wi-Fi-enabled, multi-color, energy efficient LED light bulb that you control with your iPhone or Android.”

Just watch the video above for the full effect. A few of the more notable integrated uses include changing indoor light color to match any mood, visualizing music, security measures for while away, or even just enabling couch potatoes. Those who pledge at least $69 will get a handy-dandy LIFX “smartbulb” to try, with an estimated delivery pegged around March 2013.

Check it out: LIFX: The Light Bulb Reinvented

Home-automation technology is a huge hit among startups, such as former Apple Senior Vice President Tony Fadell’s popular Nest Learning Thermostat, and even carriers are trying to get on board by developing services that streamline life and home processes.

AT&T, for instance, produced a consumer home automation and security suite of services that began trials earlier this summer. The services, which exist under the “AT&T Digital Life” naming umbrella, control home functions and implement security features. With Nest and others creating a buzz in the mobile home-automation space, expect to see LIFX flying off retailers’ shelves this time next year.

This article is cross-posted on 9to5Mac.

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