Google Could Bring Nest Back Under Its Wing -- Why Marketers Will Care

Do you have an internet-connected Nest thermostat? I have two. We recently installed them. It took me about a year to come to terms with allowing a Google product to learn my habits for heating and cooling at home.

Google now connects my home with my mobile device and my laptop. Don't tell me it doesn't, because when I remotely change my thermostat setting from another state it sends me a variety of signals that it can tell.

Frankly, I would rather not give Google any more personal information, but as an advertising exec told me yesterday, it doesn't matter than you don't use Google's services. If a brand or retailer uses DoubleClick you're doomed to share information with Google whether you like it or not.

The Wall Street Journal reports that parent company Alphabet could fold Nest into Google's hardware team. I'm not surprised.

The report says it would allow Google to more tightly integrate its home automation services and devices such as Home with Nest. The integration will enable it to better compete in the market with Amazon and others.



Google acquired Nest for $3.2 billion in 2014, but when Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin created the holding company Alphabet, Nest became its own company within the umbrella. Then Nest CEO Tony Fadell left the company. Since then, it seems Nest has been searching for a place to belong.

This all brings us to the topic of another possible reorganization -- at least for Google and its hardware division.

Google's push into hardware with Pixel smartphones, Chrome books and other products could see an awakening for the company. Last year, Google brought in former Motorola President Rick Osterloh to lead the hardware team and then in September 2017, agreed to acquire 2,000 employees and equipment from HTC Corp, a Taiwanese semiconductor maker.

Similar to my reluctance to give in and purchase a Nest thermostat, it was just a matter of time before internet-based Google gave in to developing a full-on hardware division to support its search advertising, and cloud and software services. The company has a hardware division, but it's still somewhat disjointed.    

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