For the first time at a major trade event, Google and Nest shared a booth at CEDIA 2017, the trade show for home-technology integrators.
Also for the first time, product managers from both companies sat down with CE Pro to discuss not only their new products, but also their vision for the smart home and the technology pros who service them.
Mark Spates, who heads up the smart home for Google, and Mike Soucie, product lead for Nest, explained how the two companies are working more closely than ever to present a cohesive product line to consumers and pros alike.
For the past year or so, the companies have been “working collaboratively on aligning roadmaps, aligning product visions,” Soucie says, adding that marketing and promotions are coming into alignment as well, especially when it comes to the pro market.
“I think the best thing that we can do as two companies working together,” he says, “is create the best-in-class, most compelling consumer experience out there. And if we do that, what we’re going to do is create the mass market demand for our products.”
Integrators can exploit that demand, Soucie says, “because there is still a level of complexity that only integrators and partners can really solve.”
Nest helps dealers reach end users through the Nest Pro finder service and end-user marketing services.
At the show, Nest demonstrated its full line of smart devices, including thermostats, cameras, and smoke/CO detectors, highlighting two of its latest additions: the upscale Nest Cam IQ and the down-market Nest Thermostat E.
The new camera in particular epitomises Nest’s collaboration with its sister company, incorporating Google’s FaceNet technology for facial recognition. Shortly after CEDIA, the two companies announced an upgrade that would add native Google Assistant to the cameras, as well as integration with Google Chrome to “cast” surveillance images to the TV.
“So now you’re taking this amazing software that we’re building at this kind of OS level,” Spates says, “and we’re starting to go really deep with the best products in this market.”
It’s not just Nest and Google itself “going deep” with Google technology. Third-party vendors like JBL now are starting to incorporate Google Assistant into their speakers. Others (to be announced soon) are exploiting additional Google APIs for image recognition and other features.
“In Google’s history, it’s all about open platforms and having the developer community,” Spates says. “So, we’re here to start that relationship with a lot of pro installers and developers.”
New products and services will emerge from the integrator community as more manufacturers take advantage of these APIs and software developers’ kits (SDKs), both Spates and Soucie say.
In the meantime, there are plenty of Google and Nest products to specify today – products that continue to get smarter and smarter over time.
Even for consumers drawn to popular DIY products, they still “need a do-it-for-me person to really guide them through, advising on the right product mix for their particular needs,” Soucie says. “There’s really a great opportunity because it’s a brand new addressable market that this pro audience isn’t used to addressing.”
Integrators can become Google and Nest dealers by visiting www.nest.com/pro.
Check out the 19-minute video, which details:
- New and existing products, including Google Wifi, Nest Cameras, multi-voice recognition, more
- Thread and Weave home-automation technologies
- Working towards AI
- Plans for adding more local intelligence to smart devices
- Security and privacy
- Benefits of the Nest Pro program