Alphabet would like its products to dominate your smart home, but it currently faces some problems with one of its daughter companies. According to a report by The Information, Nest is not as nimble as it could be, and as such it won’t participate in a new project that’s cooking up in Google’s labs.
The report in question says that Google is currently working on a smart home device which is meant to be a direct competitor to Amazon’s Echo. The details offered are scarce, with no word on what specific features to expect, how much it will cost, or when it will see the light of day.
For those of you who don’t know, the Amazon Echo is a cylindrical smart device that sits in your room and can take voice commands - sort of like a personal digital assistant – providing you with relevant information and playing the songs you choose, among other things. The device itself is as impressive as it is frustrating, and if you want to know why, be sure to check our in-depth review.
Google's Echo-like project was mentioned as part of a discussion about the poor performance of Nest, described as a “stalled” and “struggling” company. Apparently, the corporate culture cultivated under Tony Fadell has already driven away a number of employees, even earning him the title of “tyrant bureaucrat” from Greg Duffy (ex-CEO of Dropcam), who was part of the exodus.
Although Nest wanted to join Google in building the new smart home device, you can probably see why it was turned away, and the report also mentioned that Nest has been taking its sweet time with several projects, including a wireless security hub dubbed ‘Flintstone’, which has been delayed so many times that it ended up being called ‘Tombstone’ by one of the former employees.
In any case, Amazon’s Echo has proven to be very successful, so it’s no surprise that Google wants a taste of that, too. We’ll be on the lookout for this device, especially with Google’s I/O 2016 conference less than two months away.