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Print 57 comment(s) - last by Reclaimer77.. on Feb 3 at 5:22 PM

The Nest team will stay intact

Google bought Nest Labs earlier this month for a solid $3.2 billion in cash and according to a new report from TechCrunch, Google's new Nest team will be the search giant's core hardware group. That means Nest won't just be used for home automation and energy monitoring -- the team will be in charge of Google's latest hardware, which could include smartphones and tablets for Google's Android mobile operating system.
 
Google will keep the Nest team intact, including Nest CEO Tony Fadell. Fadell, who used to work for Apple on the iPod as well as the iPhone development teams, is considered a top dog when it comes to hardware -- but he's also comfortable with software. 
 
TechCrunch said Google was looking for the right product designers and engineers who could cross between both hardware and software, and saw that in Nest. 


[SOURCE: Digital Trends]

While Google will likely have its new hardware team work on home-automated devices as well, many reports say the Nest guys will take over all hardware projects spanning many kinds of devices. It's currently unclear what those devices will be.
 
It's interesting to see that Google sold off Motorola Mobility the same month that it acquired Nest. Many have concluded that Google originally acquired Motorola with the same intentions as when it acquired Nest; to have an innovative hardware team to power Android devices and beyond.
 
Google ended up selling Motorola to Lenovo for $2.91 billion earlier this week, reportedly taking a $7 billion net loss on the company. 
 
But Google got to hold onto Motorola's patents, which is likely what it acquired the company for anyway. Now, armed with patents and a whole new hardware team, we'll have to wait and see what Google does next. 
 
Google just posted its Q4 2013 financials, posting a significant rise in revenue from $14.42 billion USD in Q4 2012 to $16.86 billion USD in Q4 2013. Analysts expected $16.75 billion USD. But net income (GAAP) was at $4.10 billion USD ($12.01 USD/share), which is up roughly 15 percent year-over-year, but represents 1.5 percent less than the $4.16 billion USD ($12.20 USD/share) than Thomson Reuters predicted. 

Source: TechCrunch



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Where is the value?
By Dorkyman on 1/31/2014 12:17:08 PM , Rating: 2
Okay, I will eagerly welcome being educated on the value of a thermostat that I can control from my smartphone. I freely admit up-front that I know little of the company or its other products, and perhaps I'm turning into an Old Fart who resists "change," but I just fail to see the value of looking at my home temperature on my phone and saying "Oooh, only 67, I'd better bump it up a notch or two."

We've had a programmable thermostat for many decades. At night, the temperature drops down, during the day it comes back up. Why I should want more granularity than that is not clear.




RE: Where is the value?
By Cheesew1z69 on 1/31/2014 12:25:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I just fail to see the value of looking at my home temperature on my phone and saying "Oooh, only 67, I'd better bump it up a notch or two."
It's way more than that, it learns when you are there and so forth to adjust the temp to when you are there vs not. And other things.


RE: Where is the value?
By mjv.theory on 1/31/2014 1:05:56 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
It's way more than that, it learns when you are there and so forth to adjust the temp to when you are there vs not. And other things.


I already know when I am at home and when I am not - my brain already performs this function at no added financial cost. Perhaps others are no so lucky.


RE: Where is the value?
By Cheesew1z69 on 1/31/2014 1:18:16 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Where is the value?
By Reclaimer77 on 1/31/14, Rating: 0
RE: Where is the value?
By troysavary on 1/31/14, Rating: 0
RE: Where is the value?
By troysavary on 2/1/2014 4:45:40 AM , Rating: 1
Wow, guess I pissed off the misogynist crowd. Voted down for calling out someone for stating that being male makes him automatically right and being female makes someone scatterbrained. What to prove the stereotypes about geeks right, Dailytech readers.


RE: Where is the value?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/1/2014 8:26:28 AM , Rating: 2
I thought it was funny when I wrote it. But yeah, turn it into a civil rights issue buddy.

Misogynist? Oh come on, get a life. It's not like there are any women here to be offended lol.

And wow, I know you hate me, but posting this at almost 5 in the morning? You need some perspective Troy. Crying because not everyone is on-board with your Reclaimer witchhunt, haha!

Meanwhile my "misogynist" ass was in bed with a lovely young lady :)


RE: Where is the value?
By troysavary on 2/1/2014 9:07:51 AM , Rating: 2
Judging from the number of -1s you get, I'd say more people are on board than you think. I never eve had any particular dislike for you, I just argued when I thought you were wrong. But after your cretinous holocaust denier remark and then your cowardly denial of ever saying it, you are right, I don't like you now.

Even in you denial of being a misogynist, you make further remarks that show you are. You know for a fact no women read this? And even if they don't, it is ok to belittle them if you think they will not hear?

Besides, it wasn't 5 in the morning for me, dumbass. Do I need to explain time-zones to you? Forget I asked, I probably do.


RE: Where is the value?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/1/2014 9:26:03 AM , Rating: 2
Wow how many times are you going to cry about that? I made ONE off the cuff comment, and you've taken that to be me calling you a Nazi. That's ridiculous.

And wasn't it Spuke who first questioned you about it? I'm not the only one who recognized something wasn't quite right about your historical interpretations. But of course, you 100% focus on my comments.

quote:
And even if they don't, it is ok to belittle them if you think they will not hear?


Hey dumbass, news flash, you don't know my ex. I wasn't calling ALL women scatterbrained, I wasn't even being serious, it's part of my shtick here! But my ex was absolutely 100% a scatterbrained blonde bimbo, you'll have to take my word on that.

It was meant to be an example of how no, not everyone CAN manage a thermostat efficiently themselves. But OH MY GOD! I tried to use a silly example from my own life. Please, arrest me now and condemn me lol.

Good grief get a life. Do you think other people really want to read this little back and forth of ours over nothing?


RE: Where is the value?
By TacticalTrading on 2/3/2014 12:43:44 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I already know when I am at home and when I am not - my brain already performs this function at no added financial cost. Perhaps others are no so lucky.


Your Brain? Nobody uses those things any more. That is why we have to have smart phones and smart appliances, and more government, and more.... more...

I get what you are saying, but the sales pitch is: Buy this gadget that is so simple to use that even YOU (person with no brain) can work it, and it will make your life better... So you don't have to use your brain...
That will be $500 plus installation and just $9.95 per month for the rest of your life.


RE: Where is the value?
By NellyFromMA on 1/31/2014 2:08:10 PM , Rating: 3
LOL, guy goes "It's way more than that" as if to explain how great the possibilities are only to run out of steam mid sentence and refer to claim it also does "other things".

What are they? That's what he asked about, ya know...?

So far, those "other things" aren't very compelling, whatever they are.

The examples I have heard aren't all that interesting vs the problems and expenses you introduce when the automation isn't 100% solid functionality wise.

Please cite the "way more".


RE: Where is the value?
By Cheesew1z69 on 1/31/2014 2:31:26 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
it learns when you are there and so forth to adjust the temp to when you are there vs not.
Learn to read, it's immediately right after...


RE: Where is the value?
By JediJeb on 1/31/2014 5:11:17 PM , Rating: 2
That just seems like a "little more than that" not "way more than that".

If it "learns" when you are home vs away then you must be on a pretty regular schedule which could be programmed into any programmable thermostat. Now if it can actively sense what is happening and adjust to random events that would be a little more functional, but then that could still be taken care of by the override button on a normal programmable thermostat.


RE: Where is the value?
By Nekrik on 1/31/2014 2:40:03 PM , Rating: 5
"It's way more than that" - for one they could have mentioned that this a ton of very precise and very specific information about everyone in the home, when they are there, what rooms are occupied, when the lights are powered on in the kitchen vs. the living room, etc... It's a home invasion/automation device.

Google may have made a statement about the data collection but they have a long way to go before earning any trust with user data again. Any company with some of the best software devs in country that claims their collection of user data was a programming error is suspicious at best. An entire team of developers, program managers, and testers failed to realize what data was being logged, I call BS on that one.


RE: Where is the value?
By Reclaimer77 on 1/31/2014 1:08:39 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously?

Imagine your smartphone and Nest sharing your GPS location, so when you drive home it knows to automatically turn the heat/cool to the desired occupancy setting?

The scenarios are too many to even list. If you can't see the value, oh well, your prerogative I guess.


RE: Where is the value?
By NellyFromMA on 1/31/2014 2:10:24 PM , Rating: 2
Why not list them? How can he see the value if everyone that starts mentioning how great it is can't really cite a compelling example.

And, for some reason, I'd really prefer to let other people be the beta testers on home automation, because the absolute nightmares I have heard about really don't offset the "scenarios" you are referring to.


RE: Where is the value?
By Reclaimer77 on 1/31/2014 2:29:47 PM , Rating: 2
I don't really care if sees the value or not. He just seems incredibly short-sighted and ignorant in his OP.

If he can't see the obvious benefits of a smart thermostat over a programmable one, there's probably nothing people can say that's going to help him. It's like arguing electronic fuel injection versus the carburetor.

quote:
And, for some reason, I'd really prefer to let other people be the beta testers on home automation, because the absolute nightmares I have heard about really don't offset the "scenarios" you are referring to.


That's because existing home automation products are terrible and insanely overpriced.

I'm hoping Google changes all that.


RE: Where is the value?
By JediJeb on 1/31/2014 5:18:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's like arguing electronic fuel injection versus the carburetor.


Yea, a carburetor can be adjusted or completely overhauled with a wrench and screwdriver while electronic fuel injection takes a bunch of money just to diagnose the problem :)

Car won't start:

Old timer; Open hood, take out screwdriver, whack the carburetor a few time, start engine.

Nerdy Kid; Open hood, stare at wires, scratch head, call Autoclub for tow.

Honestly though there are benefits to both new and old tech, just depends on the end use which is better for that person's application.


RE: Where is the value?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/1/2014 9:36:27 AM , Rating: 2
Yes good point. The carburetor is simpler, it's also very inefficient. Which is why I used the analogy in this smart thermostat discussion.

Frankly I'm surprised this discussion even came up on a 'tech site. It's like arguing the value between a smartphone and a feature phone. Sure there are people out there who don't see the value in a smartphone, but that doesn't make them right.

quote:
Honestly though there are benefits to both new and old tech


Well in this case I can't see any advantage a regular thermostat has over something like the Nest. Maybe reliability, but actually thermostats have horrible QC in general. Soooo, I don't know.

Initial cost I guess. But with a smart thermostat, you'll make up the difference pretty quick.


RE: Where is the value?
By Tony Swash on 1/31/2014 1:35:16 PM , Rating: 2
The Nest acquisition seems to have zero to do with Nest’s existing products or thermostats. It looks like what Google wanted was a new hardware team. Nest founder and CEO Tony Fadell created the concept and initial design of the iPod at Apple. He was then hired by Apple to assemble and run its iPod & Special Projects group in April 2001 and was a founding member of the iPhone development team. He has a strong reputation as someone who knows how hardware and software can work together and how to scale a product production and roll out. I bet he spends a lot of time in the new job wearing a fancy new pair of spectacles :)


RE: Where is the value?
By HoosierEngineer5 on 1/31/2014 2:27:46 PM , Rating: 2
My thoughs exactly. For geothermal heating and cooling, you shouldn't be fiddling with the temperature settings much, anyway.

On the other hand, I have spend many hundreds of dollars on home automation that is totally unreliable. If Google can develop home automation products at X-10 prices which actually work, I am hooked! I am not sure I would be comfortable having all that on the Internet, but I suppose it would be cool to know what time the kids finally got up...


RE: Where is the value?
By kattanna on 2/3/2014 11:34:17 AM , Rating: 2
the things i like about it are:

its a big dial to adjust the temp. No more pressing little buttons up/down, i simply turn the dial to the temp. silly maybe.. but I like it.

web interface. I really like being able to log into a website to make setting changes, adjust schedules.. etc, a nice big screen instead of having to try to do the same thing with a few buttons on an lcd display.

and being able to remotely adjust it is nice for those days you might get off work early.. or late even, and adjust the temp to be ready for your arrival.

we installed one when we bought our house a few months back and all it had was a simple on/off thermostat.

we did though turn off the auto sensing and learning, that was annoying for us since were it is, it always thought we were away and kept turning off LOL


RE: Where is the value?
By Schrag4 on 2/3/2014 12:58:28 PM , Rating: 2
I guess I'm a luddite. I'll grant you that these are all benefits, but they're incredibly minor, IMO. They certainly don't make up for the cost or for any potential invasion of privacy. I have some advice for those of you who get back from work early, before the thermostat is scheduled to bump up the temp: Wear a sweater. I find it annoying when people use the phrase "first world problems," but wow, how pampered do you really have to be?


RE: Where is the value?
By CaedenV on 2/3/2014 1:22:15 PM , Rating: 2
The value is not in the thermostat, but in home automation in general. What home automation has been missing the last 10 years is a common secure platform which can be used to launch a variety of hardware from, and allow all of this hardware to talk together.

So imagine a world where you have an HVAC, water heater, solar panels, battery backup, fridge, and other major appliances all tied together. The system then is connected to the web to get a forecast for the next 5-10 days, as well as a general prospectus of what is realistically expected for temps and sunshine in your area during different seasons. The system would then be able to intelligently produce and supply power to various home appliances in a way that is efficient, and storing enough energy to get you through a few days of foul weather without having to touch the grid. During times of overproduction then the system would be able to sell off excess power to the grid without need of taking energy back at night. All while providing a comfortable home to live in. That is a big deal if they can pull it off.
Thermostats are just the first of many technologies that Nest is invested in as it was the easiest to sell. But there is a lot more that was purchased with this deal than their current product lineup.


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