Nest is having a press conference on June 17th.
This means that the smart home hardware company is finally going to do something after sitting dormant for most of the past year-plus since getting acquired by Google.
What will they announce? A little speculation:
New Thermostat, Protect and Dropcam hardware
I think all three of their current product lines are overdue for refreshes, so I do think we'll see updates to one, two or even all three.
As far as each device goes, a quick thought about each:
- The Nest Thermostat used to be the only sexy smart thermostat in town, but Ecobee and Honeywell have put themselves in the conversation.
- Nest Protect has been a troublesome product almost from the get-go, first with a recall, then a rebel Google employee complaining about the hardware. Time to retake the narrative.
- Dropcam disappointingly dropped a cool new set of features for light-security when it got acquired by Nest, and Nest told me they were evaluating the Dropcam roadmap. Well, now I think we'll see if they morph the Dropcam into more of a full-featured light security device a la the Canary or not.
A New Amazon Echo-Like Music & Voice Control Device
The rumors about Nest entering into audio in a bigger way sprouted in March with a job listing for a head of audio, and I speculated they could be looking to up their voice control game as well. I do think Google's going to do something here, either by adding more features around voice control to existing products or doing a mashup device like the Amazon Echo that has voice control as a key feature. I also think they could launch a fuller set of wireless speakers to take on Sonos.
New Light Security/Awareness Products Like Smart Doorbell
Everyone from Vivint to Comcast realize that smart doorbells make a lot of sense as part of a home security system, and I think Google might be thinking the same thing. They mentioned use of a smart doorbell in a patent filing about home security, so they might be getting into home security in a bigger way.
And who knows, if they're getting into home security in some way via something like a smart doorbell, new and improved Dropcam or some other hardware category, maybe they'll even offer a premium service. A true DIY-install home security system with home monitoring could be an interesting new revenue model for Nest.
There were rumors a month or so ago about Google getting into the smart kitchen, but as it turns out I believe now those rumors were based on Google's efforts around Brillo and Weave. That said, I think we could see Nest get into the appliance market, and the kitchen is as logical a place to start as any. A new connected range or even a retrofit device like the Meld makes some sense.
Bottom line, it will be an interesting press conference. Subscribe to the Smart Home Weekly to make sure you get our analysis once the news comes out.
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