Smart home gadget maker Nest is looking for someone to lead what they are calling Nest Audio, fueling speculation that they are moving into speakers and other audio products. The company declined to comment on the new division or job listing.
Co-founder Matt Rogers once told me that the company looks for household items that need to be reinvented. So far that has been the thermostat and smoke detector but simply releasing a boombox or Sonos-lookalike doesn’t fit that mold. A Nest Audio product is likely something that integrates into the Internet of Things – perhaps a home automation system that listens to you while “speaking” data and playing music.
This is a new frontier for Nest. The company has so far utilized little audio in its products. Instead, Nest has so far recruited a couple of audio companies to join Nest’s world of Internet of Things through the “Works With Nest” developer program. “Google will help us fully realize our vision of the conscious home and allow us to change the world faster than we ever could if we continued to go it alone. We’ve had great momentum, but [Google] is a rocket ship,” said co-founder Tony Fadell when Google bought the company.
Nest always had big plans outside of thermostats. Even before the company joined Google, the company had 100 patents granted in late 2013– 200 filed and still another 200 waiting to be filed. “This is what you have to do to disrupt major revenue streams,” Fadell said.
Given the timing of the job listing, it’s highly unlikely that Nest’s next product will involve audio. The job listing states the person hired would develop the roadmap for Nest Audio products in the future, a future in which everything – from your front door lock to your toaster – could be talking to you.