November 14, 2019

Why is Google Waiting so Long for the 3rd-Gen Nest Protect?

When it comes to smart carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, one of the most recognizable names – if not the most recognizable name – is the Google Nest Protect.

The current second-generation model of the Google Nest Protect has been well received by customers and critics alike. It’s got a split-spectrum smoke sensor to identify and instantly spot fires, regardless of how fast or slow, they spread. Additionally, the second-generation model has the capability of detecting the presence of carbon monoxide (CO) in its scope.

Back in 2015, the current Nest Protect model also came with a highly-touted algorithm that could discern steam from actual fumes from smoke, making it even more accurate than it already was.

What’s the catch? The Google Nest Protect can cost you upwards of $100. That’s quite a pretty penny for, in the eyes of the general public, a smoke alarm. With the 3rd generation that price may even go up, but truth be told, it’s a small price to pay for safety, the technology, and the comprehensive features that Nest products come with.

Possible Reasons for the Delay?

It’s been 4 years since the release of the second-gen Google Nest Home Protect. Considering that Nest literally made the biggest innovations in the smart home industry ever, the launch of a new 3rd generation should not take this long.

What has been the hold-up?

At this point in time, the reasons for its delay can only be left in the world of rumor, innuendo, and speculation. However, if we lay out what developments have been rumbling, we can make some sense out of it.

Nest, prior to its acquisition by Google, gave thermostats a total makeover in an extremely futuristic, modern way. This was a success not just because of the look and functionality, but mainly because they didn’t make things complicated for consumers. Even people who were not ready yet to learn how to operate a smart thermostat were sold.

This approach is what helped them consolidate their early standing as market movers and shakers. A sales volume of 400,000 units in just several months is what most businesses can only dream of.

Things were looking up after Google made an investment in Nest back in 2013. A year after, they were then acquired by Google for a whopping $3.2 billion – which amounted to their most expensive acquisition second only to Motorola Mobility.

After the internal struggles that arose after Nest’s own acquisition of Dropcam and the subsequent release of the second-gen Nest Protect, there’s been little news since.

Rumors have been circulating, and not without basis. Some time ago speculation emerged about Google planning to merge Nest into its hardware division in order to take on Amazon in the smart home industry. The thought was that merging Google and Nest, which worked on identical products, would put Google at a privileged position to further innovate, considering the years of experience that Google and Nest combined possess.

Furthermore, there were reports that Google was closing the former APIs to Nest, which raised speculation that Google might have been disposing of anything that has been listening to Nest (Google Hangouts, Cloud Messaging, and Chromecast Audio come to mind).

The idea is that there may be some ongoing rumblings between Nest and Google as far as Google’s commitment is concerned, and its seeming reticence to fully back the Nest and the wishes of their CEO. This could be preventing Nest from continuing its development of certain product lines, Nest Protect included.

Given Google’s history of purchasing companies only to leave them in development hell, half-cook it, or just plain leave it once interest has waned, these speculations may hold some water to them. There’s bound to be some jelly in that doughnut.

Nest Protect Recap

Naturally, it’s unfair to call the Google Nest Protect as just being a mere smoke and carbon monoxide detector, because it comes with so much more advanced features that smoke alarms just shouldn’t come with.

The Protect instantly synchronizes with the entire Google Nest ecosystem, making it supremely easy to set up (especially when there’s a Google Nest it can pair with around its vicinity). Everything you possibly need to install the device is inside the box, whether you choose a hard-wired or battery-operated model.

One thing the current Nest Protect is renowned for is its sleek, stylish design, poised to seamlessly integrate with the modern smart home of Google. It’s also packed with features such as a path light feature, which flashes a white light whenever it detects motion, as well as a hyperreal human voice as an alarm.

The second-generation Protect was clearly a darling of both customers and critics.

Will the third generation be a success as well?

Most likely it will, but as it stands, Nest won’t make that happen before the turn of the decade. Those who are waiting will be tested for their patience.

About the author 

Imran Uddin

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