In 2010, two former Apple techies named Matt Rogers and Tony Fadell created a start-up home security company in Palo Alto called Nest Labs that quickly grew to upwards of 130 employees within two years.
By 2014, this same company had over 280 employees and had been acquired by Californian multinational Alphabet Inc. for a not-so-paltry sum of $3.2 billion USD. Impressive to say the least!
The concept behind Nest Labs’ products is that they are meant to have characteristics almost as if they were a person, such as being self-learning as well as programmable, sensor driven, and Wi-Fi enabled. Aesthetically, you might call their products downright pretty, in that they are colorful and lively and dare we say it – fun.
2011 is the year that introduced the world to the Nest Learning Thermostat. This product has all the aforementioned characteristics of a classic Nest device with a focus on interactivity and self-learning, plus you can add to that that this thermostat is designed to conserve energy, as well as heat and cool homes at optimal levels at all times. This thermostat does make your average thermostat look pretty darn boring by comparison, we must say.
The Nest Learning Thermostat is programmed with a learning algorithm which requests that users program it for the first few weeks, whereafter it will take over based on the data it has received, having learned enough information to serve you according to your preference.
If the Nest Learning Thermostat knows you’re not home, it will adjust its settings accordingly via built-in sensors and the location of you and your phone. Here’s the video from Nest which introduced the world to the Nest Learning Thermostat.
This product would set the tone for further Nest Labs projects centered around automated home security with a more human touch, including such devices that normally aren’t described as too “organic”, like smoke detectors, security systems, indoor / outdoor cameras, and more. Each of these products has been a success with users, and reviews have overall been quite positive.
Nest Labs Philosophy
The philosophy behind Nest Labs is that “Nest is home.”
Mind you, this is our take, but we think there is a huge emphasis with the folks at Nest on putting some soul into technology that is generally cold and unintuitive. Undoubtedly this is a noble pursuit, as the goal of Nest seems to legitimately be making your home a more “thoughtful” place that is warm and inviting, and nurtures the people inside, which is reflected in both the look and functioning of their products.
More than this, according to Ben Bixby, Director of Energy Products at Nest Labs, Nest products are designed to empower users to be in charge of their own energy grid, and helping to balance “supply” for energy with “demand” in your own household.
The overall Nest philosophy looks at creating harmony in your home. Its difficult to not to appreciate their basic philosophic and conceptual tenets.
Watch this video which takes a tour around the Nest Labs offices in Palo Alto and talks about some of their products.
Other popular Nest projects include 2013’s Nest Protect, which is a smoke and carbon monoxide detector, as well as the ever-popular Nest Cam (formerly the Drop Cam) which was released in 2015, which was then followed up by 2016’s Nest Cam Outdoor.
Each of these projects, to this day, has seen updates and further development as the next generation of Next home security is always on the horizon. Nest has even created their own community on their website so that customers can partake in discussion around Nest products.
The Nest family of products is generally tightly interwoven for the sake of user convenience. If the alarm for the Nest Protect is triggered, the Nest Cam will begin recording, and their Learning Thermostat can also get in on the action by sensing motion triggers as well.
Nest has steadily been foraying into new markets in different countries around the world, such as France, Ireland, Belgium, and the Netherlands. There are an increasing number of Nest stores opening in each of these countries, as well as in the US, the UK, and Canada.
As smart technology sees advancements and makes its way into more and more homes around the globe, expect to hear more about Nest in the coming years.
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