With the addition of the Nest Hello doorbell, the Nest x Yale lock and the Nest Temperature Sensor -- all of which are now available to consumers -- Google's smart home company now sells 11 different connected devices. But that wasn't always the case. In fact, Nest took years to develop into the Google-owned multi-device maker it is today -- even as arch-rival Amazon Alexa started later and grew bigger all the while.
Lets take a look back at Nest's trajectory to see how we ended up here.
Timeline: Nest's main product launches and news
Nest got its start with the first-generation Learning Thermostat. At the time, the device -- dreamed up by Apple alums Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers -- was completely alien. Yes, round thermostats have been around since the 1950s (thanks, Honeywell), but a thermostat by modern standards was a utilitarian rectangle of white plastic you hid in a hallway and approached only when you wanted to adjust the temperature.
That all changed with Nest, because Fadell and Rogers demonstrated that a functional, app-connected, Wi-Fi-enabled gadget could also be beautiful -- and people would pay for it. Proof: Nest CEO Marwan Fawaz told CNET in February 2018 that his smart home company had soldsince it was founded. Seven years of sales didn't go exclusively to Nest thermostats, but that's how it all started:
- 2011 -- Nest introduced its first product, the Learning Thermostat.
- 2012 -- The startup debuted its second-gen Learning Thermostat -- same features, slimmer profile.
- 2013 -- Nest expanded its scope beyond thermostats this year to the first-gen . Similar to the Learning Thermostat, the Protect looked great and you could check its status remotely on your phone from the Nest app.
- 2014 -- This was a big year for Nest, but we didn't see a single new product. Instead, and . Amazon, meanwhile, in November of that year.
- 2015 -- Nest introduced a third-gen , a second-gen and a new product -- the Dropcam-inspired . Even though 2015 technically saw three product launches, two of them were updated versions of existing Nest devices.
- 2016 -- The debuted, a weatherproof version of the Nest Cam Indoor. Nest CEO and co-founder Tony Fadell also his plans to leave Nest.
- 2017 -- The company announced the , the , the , the alarm system, the and the . This was by far the biggest product launch year for Nest -- so far -- but the latter two products didn't actually hit the market until today.
- 2018 -- Nest introduced a temperature sensor and announced that . Nest's other co-founder, Matt Rogers, he was leaving Nest.
Picking up the pace
In Nest's first five years, it only developed three products and some new iterations of existing products. In the last few years, the company has introduced eight products -- for a grand total of 11 devices. That makes Nest one of the most comprehensive smart home and home security manufacturers around today, especially since all of these products are supposed to work together "seamlessly."
For instance, if you unlock the Nest x Yale lock on your front door, your Nest Cam IQ Indoor can stop recording while you're home for privacy, your Nest Thermostat E can adjust to your preferred temperature and your Nest Secure alarm system can disarm -- all automatically. That sort of automation is great when it works, but not so great when it's difficult to configure.
Maxime Veron, Nest's Director of Product Marketing, assured me this wouldn't be an issue. "Everything I'm showing you right now is all by default and then it's just switches -- not if this, then that, just, 'Do you want your Nest x Yale door lock to participate in Home/Away Assist?' Yes or no. The only other question we ask you is: 'How fast do you want it to automatically lock?'" He told me during a product demo. "We're trying to stay away from the IFTTT scenario, trying to build something that everybody can use," Veron added.
Nest is also working closely with Google tolike the Nest Cam IQ Indoor. That means your Nest Cam IQ Indoor now works like a , or speaker, with a few exceptions -- the IQ Indoor can't read the news, play music or podcasts or make calls. This should not only help Google compete with and in the smart home, but also make Nest products more appealing to folks interested in controlling their devices with simple voice commands.
We're looking forward to testing out Nest's most recent products, like the Hello doorbell, the Nest x Yale lock and the new Nest Temperature Sensor. Check in soon for our impressions of the products and how well they work as part of Nest's growing lineup. Read about how the Hello and other Nest products won't be sold on Amazon.