Tony Fadell, a former Jobs Protege & current co-founder and CEO of Nest believes that the idea of one central platform that runs smart homes of the future isn’t quite what things are moving towards.
In a candid interview with Fast Company Executive Editor Noah Robischon, the Nest chief executive talks about automated homes, among other things and why the Jetsons didn’t quite have it right.
“That’s not the right way to think about it,” Fadell explains. “People don’t buy platforms. They buy one product at a time that somehow differentiates itself from every other product in their life. And then they move onto the next one. And the next one. You need to make standalone, great products, and if they can eventually all talk to each other 10 or 20 years down the line, then great.”
“The people who are pitching those kinds of products, it amazes me,” Fadell added. “They just don’t work.”
The idea for Jetson-esque home has been around for a while now. However, no tangible outcome is owed to the fact that while Google, Apple and Microsoft lead PCs, mobile devices market, household appliances is a whole different deal with GE and Honeywell ahead in the race. “I remember going to Tomorrowland at Disneyland [as a kid], where you have this button and the food would come out and then everything would be magically cleaned,” Fadell recalls in a separate interview, “They’ve been selling this same vision since the 1950s!”
“A few years ago, we were looking for the killer app for the connected home, but consumers have told us they’re not interested in streaming Pandora to their refrigerator,” says Brett Dibkey, a VP at Whirlpool, another Nest partner, reiterating what Fadell said. “We won’t see Jetsons-like benefits for years. It’ll be a more subtle progression toward a truly conscious home.”
Working towards this, Nest has been working to make its product family partner with outside services to join its ecosystem. “Mercedes-Benz recently launched a feature that lets your car speak to the Nest thermostat, so as you drive closer to home, it can start warming or cooling rooms. Customers can also now set up smart LED lightbulbs so they’ll flash red if Protect (another NEST product) detects smoke or carbon monoxide,” reports Fast Company.
With Google’s buy-out of Nest earlier this year, and talk of Fadell being honed to take over Android as head, it only gives a much needed impetus to embark on its endeavour.
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(Image credit: Thomas Hawk)